graveyard all night

Depending on who’s trying to pull your leg, the idiom originated either in medieval markets or the filthy streets of Victorian London. Thieves were said to have crouched on the ground to literally pull at the legs of unwary (rich-looking) passers. Once tripped up, victims were robbed of all belongings.

It was said Henry VII’s mother, Margaret Beaufort, was ruined by early childbirth , and Henry was not about to risk the succession of his line on another one-child mom. Equally as important was the thought common to that time that early sexual excesses could fatally weaken the health of young men. A teen prince who bedded too often, it was feared, was digging himself into an early grave. Most people didn’t have pewter plates though, they all had trenchers, that was a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. They never washed their boards and a lot of times worms would get into the wood.

graveyard shift

After eating off the trencher with worms they would get “trench mouth.” If you were going traveling and wanted to stay at an Inn they usually provided the bed but not the board. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. Normally the piss poor planning is realized only days before or during the event. Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.


When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Americans who know the idiom so poor he didn’t have a pot to piss in, sometimes in the fuller form … Or a window to throw it out of, might wonder if this is the origin. The idiom appears in Nightwood by Djuna Barnes, published in 1936, so it does predate piss-poor. However, it’s a graphic literal reference to poverty; as piss-poor was first used in a figurative sense, it’s unlikely to have been influenced by the older idiom.

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If this goes on, someone will restart that old hare of the word POSH being derived from ‘Port Out Starboard Home. If this goes on, someone will restart that old hare of the word POSH being derived from ‘Port Out Starboard Home’, or Pom standing for ‘Prisoner of Her Majesty’ (what happened to the H, by the way?). Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the “upper crust”. While grave-robbing did occur, there’s no evidence tying the practice to the idiom. Most people attribute the expression as mad as a hatter to Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter character in his 1865 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Johnny Depp’s clown-faced, red-eyed, orange-haired portrait of the character in the 2010 movie only made the Hatter seem Madder.

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So they started digging up some coffins and would take their bones to a house and re-use the grave. They started opening these coffins and found some had scratch marks on the inside. TM-Town is a unique new site for you — the freelance translator — to store, manage and share translation memories and glossaries…and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work. In general when you get these kind of explanations of the “origins” of expressions, be very very skeptical unless an actual historical quote or pointer to a first-hand source is given to back up the claim. You could be right, but I won’t rule out the reason simply is alliteration.

Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, illegitimate son of Henry VIII, was married off to Lady Mary Howard when he was fourteen. The marriage remained unconsummated at his death at age 17. The workers would get the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family would get the middle and guests would get the top, or the “upper crust”. They took their yearly bath in May, so they were till smelling pretty good by June, although they were starting to smell, so the brides would carry a bouquet of flowers to hide their b.o.

Top Piss Poor Planning Quotes

They would be walking along the road and here would be someone knocked out and they thought they were dead. So they would pick them up and take them home and get them ready to bury. They realized if they were too slow about it, the person would wake up. Also, maybe not all of the people they were burying were dead. So they would lay them out on the kitchen table for a couple of days, the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. That’s where the custom of holding a “wake” came from.

floor was dirt

When you came into the house you would notice most times that the floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, that’s where the saying “dirt poor” came from. That was fine but in the winter they would get slippery when they got wet. So they started to spread thresh on the floor to help keep their footing.

So they thought they would tie a string on their wrist and lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night to listen for the bell. If the bell would ring they would know that someone was “saved by the bell” or he was a “dead ringer”.

No matter how many inboxes this popular e-mail has landed in, it never once enlightened anyone. Indeed, it probably left more than a few looking like utter fools when they tried to pass this “knowledge” along to friends better versed in phrase origins. Food that needed to be pierced or cut was not placed on a bread trencher.

In The Netherlands, some ages ago, workers at a wool factory at the end of each work day got a stone bottle of beer home and were expected to bring it the next morning back to the mill filled with … I always thought piss poor was an adjective/qualifier of relative rather than wealth. Such as “he is a piss poor translator” or “that film was piss poor”. 1)im gonna be piss poor this month since i spent all my paycheck on crack. According to origin rumor, the skeleton in the closet has something to do with body-snatching, a practice in the 1700s and 1800s. The story goes that doctors would conceal in cupboards illegally obtained corpses and skeletons, which they would use for medical research.

However, as with other tongue-in-cheek suggestions about 501c3 meanings, a grain of truth exists in it. Urine has been widely used in many parts of the world in the preparatory stages of tanning, in particular to help remove the hair from hides before applying tanning agents. By the mid-16th century, what had been the wooden underplaque was coming to be viewed as dinner plate in its own right.

buried alive

New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech. The Romans, for example, collected urine for this purpose systematically and even put a tax on it. The most famous taxer was the emperor Vespasian in the first century AD.

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This startling turn of climatic events spelled the end to that style of communal living and brought about major shifts in building styles to better protect people from the horrendous cold. The advent of the chimney made it possible to warm smaller spaces, which led to the concept of sleeping singly or in pairs in bedrooms. All this is to say that by the 1500s one would have been hard pressed to find any homes that were not heated, or where the inhabitants shivered piled up together in a communal dogpile.

The other bedroom was shared by her 6 brothers and 30 field workers. Everyone just wrapped up in their blanket and slept on the floor. They had no indoor heating so all the extra bodies kept them warm.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. Larkin’s letters, wrote Philippe Auclair, writer and broadcaster, were “very funny, very beautiful, and very sad; the grace of an angel, the precision of a geometer, and the short-sighted, intolerant piss-poor idées fixes of a provincial buffoon”. This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia . “Everyone just wrapped up in their blanket and slept on the floor. They had no indoor heating so all the extra bodies kept them warm.” Until such time as both kids were deemed old enough to advance the state of their union into full-blown matrimony. To put it more directly, though the teens might call each other “husband” and “wife,” they didn’t begin cohabiting and having sex until their mid-teens at the earliest, and only when both families agreed the kids were ready to take this step.