Monday, December 28, 2015

Part 2: Origins of Sayings: Sleep Tight, a Showboat, Over a Barrel


Our friend Elvina recently sent us an email that revealed the history and origin of a number of sayings that we grew up with. Of course, we didn't know the origin of these sayings, so it's fun to find out how they came to be. This is part 2 of 3: Riff-Raff; State Rooms; Sleep Tight; Showboating; Over a Barrel. 

RIFF RAFF The Mississippi River was the main way of traveling from north to south. River-boats carried passengers and freight but they were expensive so most people used rafts. Everything had the right of way over rafts which were considered cheap. The steering oar on the rafts was called a "riff" and this transposed into riff-raff, meaning low class.

SHIP STATE ROOMS
Traveling by steamboat was considered the height of comfort. Passenger cabins on the boats were not numbered. Instead they were named after states. To this day cabins on ships are called staterooms.

SLEEP TIGHT
Sleep tight came from pulling the bed ropes tight!

Early beds were made with a wooden frame. Ropes were tied across the frame in a criss-cross pattern. A straw mat-tress 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.

SHOWBOAT
These were floating theaters built on a barge that was pushed by a steamboat. These played small town 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 a effort to empty the lungs of water. It was rarely effective. If you are over a barrel you are in deep trouble.


 

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14