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In  George Washington’s days, there were no cameras.  One’s image was either sculpted or painted.  Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms.  Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted Arms and legs are limbs, therefore painting them would cost the buyer more.  Hence the expression, “Alright, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg."

Ladies wore corsets which would lace up in the front.  A tightly tied lace was worn by a proper and dignified lady as in

In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair.  Commonly, a long wide board was folded down from the wall and used for dining.  The “head of the household” always sat in the chair while everyone else sat sitting on the floor or stayed standing.  Once in a while, a guest would be invited to sit in their chair during a meal.  This was a great honor.  Hence the term "Chair man." Later it became: "Chairman of the Board"

Did you know that?

As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year - in May and December.  Women kept their hair covered, while men very often shaved their heads because of lice and bugs and they wore wigs made from wool.  The wigs couldn’t be washed, so to clean them they would carve out a load of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes.  The heat would make the wig big and fully. Hence the term “Big wig.  The term has become synonymous with the wealthy and powerful.

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Needless to say, personal hygiene  left much room for improvement.  As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood.  The women would spread bee’s wax over their facial skin to smooth out the complexions.  When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman’s face she was told to “mind your own bee’s wax .”  Should the woman smile, the wax would crack; hence the term “Crack a smile.” 

Oh, Isn't this stuff Fun?!

Common entertainment included playing cards.  However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards, but only applicable to the “Ace of Spaces.”  To avoid paying the tax. People would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren’t “playing with a full deck."
Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what was considered important to the people.  Since there were no telephones, TV’s or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs and bars and were told to “go sip some ale, “ and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns.  Many assistants were dispatched at different times.  ‘You go sip here’ and ‘you go sip there.’   The two words go sip were eventually combined with referring to the local opinions and we have the term  "gossip!”


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