Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Part 3: Origin of Sayings: Curfew, Hot off the Press, Barge In

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 3 of 3.  

HOGWASH 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 later adopted into Middle English as "curfeu", which later became the modern "curfew." Curfew originally denoted a regulation in force in Medieval Europe by which fires were to be covered over or extinguished at a fixed hour in the evening indicated by the ringing of a bell.

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".
A curfew was also a cover for a fire, such as this one, made in the Netherlands in the 17th century:
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. 

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.

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."

 CURIOUS ABOUT OTHER SAYINGS? You may be able to find the answers here:  http://www.knowyourphrase.com  


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.

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