Archive for the ‘Phrases & Their Origins’ Category

Arts & Crafts ~ Medieval Style & Phrases and Origins too!

August 11, 2010

Good eventide to you all!

Let’s bake some bread.  Please visit http://whirlwind-design.com/madbaker/breadfaq.html#Q3 for a medieval recipe that can be used today.  Scroll up to the top of the page for some interesting facts about medieval breads.

Bread was a staple in medieval households.  It was either baked at home or purchased from the local baker.  Now buying from your local baker could empty your coin purse fast because many bakers were dishonest.  Because bread was a staple, bakers begin charging overly much for bread and cheating the public.  It got to the point where the public outcry reached the king and a law was levied that bakers were to stop cheating or face the penalties.  In order to be on the safe side of the law bakers began adding an extra loaf bringing the number of loaves to 13 or A Baker’s Dozen.  To read up on the origin of the phrase please visit http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/Bakers%20dozen.html .

Enjoy! from your Faithful Scribe, Linda
Publisher of www.TheMedievalChronicle.com

Phrases & Their Origins ~ Medieval Style

August 5, 2010

Good morrow to you all!

When I started this weekly blog I was thinking that it would be fun to share sayings that originated in the middle ages.  Which is still my intend but not in the way I had initially planned.  Why?  Because there are too many wonderful websites out there that are already doing just that!  Sooo…  instead of sharing one or two sayings each time I thought I would share websites and let you choose which sayings you would like to read about.

This week’s site is called Medieval Origins of Common Phrases and can be found at http://www.members.tripod.com/~hkcarms/phrases.html .   Here you’ll find only a few of the many that came from the middle ages but—if you’re like me—you may just be surprised to read the origin of a phrase or word you use all the time. 

For example…  “Damn it” is a phrase I rarely use.  Although, I will confess to using it just yesterday when a magnet fell off the kitchen counter and landed—corner side down—on my toe.  My somewhat rather loud (no, let’s face it, it was loud!) shout of “Damn it” surprised both me and my roommate.  Was it lingering in the back of my mind from reading about medieval phrases?  Who knows but I will say that the phrase holds a whole new meaning to me now.

Enjoy! from your Faithful Scribe, Linda
Publisher of www.TheMedievalChronicle.com

Phrases and Their Origins

July 23, 2010

Good eventide to you!

Today TMC is starting a new blog entitled Phrase and Their Origins.   Those everyday “the writing is on the wall” kind of things we say without thinking twice about it.  We know the meaning but do we know the phrase’s origin?

You may be amazed to learn just how many phrases we use today came from the Bible or from our favorite time period, the Middle Ages.  For example, do you know where “giving someone the finger” comes from?  A hint, think Agincourt in 1415 and the longbow.   How about “Eat, drink and be merry”?  Think the Bible.  Or, “to free lance”?  Think medieval knights who became mercenary soldiers.

Let’s begin with a phrase whose origin surprised me.  It’s “To play the devil’s advocate”.  Its origin is the Roman Catholic Church.  A canon lawyer in the church would be appointed to argue against the canonization or beatification of a person.  Appointed and play are the key words here as the “appointed person” didn’t need to be against the canonization he only needed to “play a role”.  His role was to argue simply for the sake of argument and in so doing all sides could be discussed and it could be determined if the person being presented for sainthood was truly worthy.  Pope Sixtus V established this office in 1587 and it remained until 1983 when Pope John Paul II eliminated it.  

Each Thursday I will choose a particular phrase, give a wee bit of its history and its date of origin and then invite your comments.   

 “And thereby hangs a tale”
for all to read and learn of the origin of their favorite phrases.

Enjoy! from your Faithful Scribe, Linda
www.TheMedievalChronicle.com