Can You Guess What the Expression Rule of Thumb Originally Meant?


  1. Where did the expression “rule of thumb” originate?

In the 1400’s a law was adopted in England that allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb.  Hence, we have “the rule of thumb.”

  1. What exactly does “goodnight, sleep tight” really mean?

In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes.  When you pulled the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on.  This is how “goodnight, sleep tight” originated.

  1. Where did the tradition of the “honeymoon” originate?

In ancient Babylon when a couple got married, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink.  Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

  1. How did we get the phrase “mind your P’s and Q’s?”

In English pubs, ale is ordered in pints and quarts.  So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them “Mind your pints and quarts and settle down.”

  1. How about the phrase “Wet your whistle?”

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the handle of their ceramic cups.  When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service.  “Wet your whistle” is the phrase inspired by this.

  1. What did the word “GOLF” originally mean?

“Gentlemen Only.  Ladies Forbidden.” … and the thus the word “golf” entered the English language.

  1. Where did the phrase “knock on wood” originate?

Some believe “knock on wood” originated from superstitious attempts to ward off evil by knocking on a wooden cross or to bring good luck by knocking on a tree while making bold statements, but there is no evidence to support such beliefs. There are, however, documents from the early 1800’s referring to children’s games of tag in which “touching wood” keeps a player safe (from being “tagged”). “Knock on wood” quite likely originated from children playing tag and “touching wood” so they would be kept safe or brought good luck.

  1. On which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?

Father’s Day.

  1. Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history.  The kings are Alexander the Great, King David, Julius Caesar, and Charlemagne.  Can you match the kings with the king of spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds?

Spades – King David Hearts – Charlemagne Clubs – Alexander the Great Diamonds – Julius Caesar

  1. We’ve all seen a statue of a person on a horse in a park.  What does it mean if the horse: – Has both front legs in the air? – Has one front leg in the air? – Has all front legs on the ground?

– The person died in battle if the horse has both front legs in the air. – The person died as a result of wounds received in battle if the horse has one front leg in the air. – The person died of natural causes if the horse has all four legs on the ground.

  1. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter “A”?

One thousand.

  1. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?

Their birthplace.

  1. Most boat owners name their boats.  Can you guess the most popular name given to a boat?


  1. Who were the first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV?

Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

  1. 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = What?


  1. And, finally, do you know it is impossible to lick your elbow?

The interesting thing is that 90% of the people who are told this actually physically try to lick their elbow.  Did you?


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