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Medieval Sayings we use

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by

Joe Blankenship

on 10 October 2014

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Transcript of Medieval Sayings we use

"CAUGHT YOU RED-HANDED" - This phrase comes from the 12th Century practice of dipping a thief's hand in berry-dye. The dye would soak into the skin and stain the hand for several weeks and as such, serve as an act of public humiliation of being convicted. All who saw the 'red-handed' person knew he was a thief and a criminal.
Red handed
"DON'T KILL THE MESSENGER"
- A phrase used commonly when a person of lower station must deliver bad news to a boss or authority figure. It first originated in the 13th Century when Diplomatic Messengers were dispatched to rival houses and kingdoms to deliver unfavorable news. Often the recipient of the bad news would express his or her rage by slaying or imprisoning the Messenger. Finally, laws were enacted to protect Messengers from such events.
"DAMN IT"
- Though this phrase is commonly used as a disparaging term, it has its origins in and around 722 AD. The Anglo-Saxon term for Viking was "Damut" (derived from Danish/Dane/Damon and Danute). When Viking longboats were sited it was a common cry of warning for the sentries to shout "Damut" at the top of their lungs.
"GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE!"
- This phrase is commonly used toward someone who is acting pompous, arrogant or lofty. The phrase comes from the 13th Century. During that time Nobles were given a taller breed of horse to ride to signify their status and authority. Often commoners would tell each other to "Get off their high horses" when one was acting more authoritative than he had a right to.
Today
Medieval Sayings we use
- In The Middle Ages, lords and nobles were often faced with the common problem of getting rid of unwanted or obnoxious guests at feasts and gatherings. There is no evidence of when this practice actually started, but an unwanted guest was served a cold shoulder of meat; the toughest and most undesireable portion of a roast. Receiving this token symbol often resulted in giving the guest enough of a hint that he or she over-stayed their welcome.
"GIVE SOMEONE THE COLD SHOULDER"
traces back to medieval times, when punishment "for liars and blasphemers [was to] have their tongues cut out and then fed to the cats."
Cat got your tougue?

Another literal one. In the middle ages, people accused of witchcraft would be dragged over the red-hot coals of a fire.

If they survived the ordeal, then they were declared innocent.




To haul someone over the coals

Saying this after someone sneezes dates back to the sixth century, when a plague spread across much of Europe and the Near East.

Pope Gregory started the trend of saying “bless you” after a sneeze, as a sneeze was often the first sign of infection




Bless you!
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