Life in the 1500s

United States
November 27, 2006 9:39am CST
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s: Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by the next month. Even so, they were starting to stink, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married. Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children - last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty someone could actually get lost in it! Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." Houses had thatched roofs - thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs." There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house in those days. This posed a real problem in the bedroom, where bugs and other droppings could really mess up a nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence. The floors were dirt, and only the wealthy had something other than dirt, from which came the saying "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when the door was opened it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway to prevent this, hence the saying a "thresh hold."
1 person likes this
2 responses
@starr4all (2865)
27 Nov 06
Another good article! Keep up the good work and information!
• United States
27 Nov 06
Thanks for the response!
• United States
26 Dec 06
That is very interesting. Thank you for your contribution!