I Never Knew That!!! Part 2
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Early beds were made with a wooden frame. Ropes were tied across the frame in a criss-cross pattern. A straw mattress was then put on top of the ropes. Over time, the ropes stretched, causing the bed to sag. The owner would then tighten the ropes to get a better night's sleep.
These were floating theaters built on a barge that was pushed by a steamboat. These played small towns along the Mississippi River. Unlike the boat shown in the movie "Showboat" these did not have an engine. They were gaudy and attention grabbing which is why we say someone who is being the life of the party is "Showboating."
"Over A Barrel"
In the days before CPR a drowning victim would be placed face down over a barrel and the barrel would be rolled back and forth in an effort to empty the lungs of water. It was rarely effective. If you are over a barrel you are in deep trouble.
Heavy freight was moved along the Mississippi in large barges pushed by steamboats. These were hard to control and would sometimes swing into piers or other boats. People would say they "barged in".
Steamboats carried both people and animals. Since pigs smelled so bad they would be washed before being put on board. The mud and other filth that was washed off was considered useless "hog wash".
The word "curfew" comes from the French phrase "couvre-feu", which means "cover the fire." It was used to describe the time of blowing out all lamps and candles. It was later adopted into Middle English as "curfeu", which later became the modern "curfew". In the early American colonies homes had no real fireplaces so a fire was built in the center of the room. In order to make sure a fire did not get out of control during the night it was required that, by an agreed upon time, all fires would be covered with a clay pot called a "curfew".
"Barrels Of Oil"
When the first oil wells were drilled they had made no provision for storing the liquid so they used water barrels. That is why, to this day, we speak of barrels of oil rather than gallons.
"Hot Off The Press"
As the paper goes through the rotary printing press friction causes it to heat up. Therefore, if you grab the paper right off the press it's hot. The expression means to get immediate information.
There.......don't you feel smarter now???