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Since UO is set around some of these time frames.

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Millie, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Millie

    Millie Guest

    I thought I would share some facts with you all. Enjoy

    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, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an
    arm and a leg.'
    (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)

    As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October)
    Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads
    (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could
    afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term 'big wig.' Today we often use the term 'here comes the Big Wig' because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.


    In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a
    guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'

    Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As 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 their complexions.
    When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told, 'mind your own bee's wax.'
    Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term 'crack a smile'. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire,the wax would melt . . Therefore, the expression 'losing face.'

    Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A
    proper and dignified woman, as in 'straight laced'. . Wore a
    tightly tied lace.

    Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there
    was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades.' 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 the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars.
    They 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 when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term 'gossip.'


    At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint
    and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the term 'minding your 'P's and Q's '


    One more: bet you didn't know this!
    In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons.. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls.
    It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However,
    how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four res ting on nine' which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem....how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling fr om under the others.
    The solution was a metal plate called a 'Monkey' with 16 round indentations.
    However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make
    'Brass Monkeys..'
    Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much
    faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey.
    Thus, it was quite literally, 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.'
    (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you.)
    !!!! Edit: ok ok After reading many post of how this is wrong information and not fact.
    Ill admit it may not be fact, but more fun fibs, lore or wifes tales.
    All in all its still fun to read.

  2. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    May 16, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Good post!

    I like random facts such as these :D
  3. erm... a few of your etymologies are incorrect :/
  4. BajaElladan

    BajaElladan Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Do you mean to tell me that I am supposed to bathe MORE than twice a year???

    Who Knew?

  5. Millie

    Millie Guest

  6. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    May 16, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Which ones be those?
  7. the first that comes to mind is the origin of gossip has nothing to do with sipping anything, its derived from a twelfth-century word 'gossib' , which referred to a close relative (which is in turned derived from an old english pairing), according to Oxford English Dictionary.
    one or two others but I don't have time to bring up any sources on them.
  8. Aran

    Aran Always Present
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Apr 1, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Except UO isn't set anywhere near the 1700s...
  9. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    Some of these might be true, just make sure you realize people tend to just make up these clever etymologies.
  10. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran

    Jun 11, 2008
    Likes Received:
    You forgot the dear-ringer one! Goes something like this:

    Since medical knowledge was a bit backward, sometimes people were pronouced dead if they went into a coma or such. They would bury them in a coffin, but there'll be a rope inside the coffin attached to a bell above ground. If the deceased do wake up, they'd pull the rope. The bell would let the gravekeeper know that someone is still alive and can proceed to dig them up. Hence the term dead-ringer.

    It's not true of course, and doesn't match up with how we use the term dead-ringer nowadays. But it's still pretty funny :D There's one more about the graveyard shift too...
  11. Kula

    Kula Guest

    OED Online is pretty fun to read sometimes.
  12. Gawin

    Gawin Guest

    MILLIE were you into the cider again :)

    One theory, of sufficient popularity as to be an example of so-called folk etymology, is that a brass monkey is a brass tray used in naval ships during the Napoleonic Wars, for the storage of cannonballs, piled up in a pyramid. The theory goes that the tray would contract in cold weather, causing the balls to fall off. This theory is discredited by the US. Department of the Navy and the etymologist Michael Quinion and the OED's AskOxford website for five main reasons:

    1. The Oxford English Dictionary does not record the term "monkey" or "brass monkey" being used in this way.
    2. The purported method of storage of cannonballs ("round shot") is simply false. Shot was not stored on deck continuously on the off-chance that the ship might go into battle. Indeed, decks were kept as clear as possible.
    3. Furthermore, such a method of storage would result in shot rolling around on deck and causing a hazard in high seas. Shot was stored on the gun or spar decks, in shot racks—longitudinal wooden planks with holes bored into them, known as shot garlands in the Royal Navy, into which round shot were inserted for ready use by the gun crew.
    4. Shot was not left exposed to the elements where it could rust. Such rust could lead to the ball not flying true or jamming in the barrel and exploding the gun. Indeed, gunners would attempt to remove as many imperfections as possible from the surfaces of balls.
    5. The physics do not stand up to scrutiny. All of the balls would contract equally, and the contraction of both balls and plate over the range of temperatures involved would not be particularly large. The effect claimed possibly could be reproduced under laboratory conditions with objects engineered to a high precision for this purpose, but it is unlikely it would ever have occurred in real life aboard a warship.

    Leave it to Fishin' to find this one :)

    Thanks for the read Millie
  13. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    May 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Indeed not.

    UO is set on no earth time period. Not only that, but in the UO universe, Earth actually exists.

    It has reflections of many different earth time periods, including modernity.

    It also has characteristics reflecting the fact that it has stuff earth has never, and will never, have. Examples include dragons, magic, magically-powered robots (any robots we'll have IRL will not be powered by magic), direct connections to demon dimensions, undead creatures that wander the land and randomly attack people, orcs, dungeons.....the examples are endless.

    The culture that exists among the various characters in the game doubtlessly reflects all of this stuff.

    I think it likely, for example, that our characters have some kind of running water, at least if they live close to a major city, or are rich enough to afford to have a well dug and pipes put in or something like that. (Running water has existed for a long time, hasn't it? Didn't the Romans have it? If they did, I will bet you our characters do.)

    And don't forget that any character who doesn't have running water can, anytime he or she wishes, recall to some isolated creek and take a bath, as opposed to walking for 3 days or something like that.

    Some of the poor NPCs may not have the same comforts, I guess.

    -Galen's player
  14. Nestorius

    Nestorius Guest

    I doubt it, considering food is not even necessary to our characters. :)

    I usually imagine that such D&D type fantasy generas are not based on the Middle Ages with its rigid feudalism and orthodox religious hierarchy, nor classical ages with its distinctive Greco-Roman style, but the Dark Age time in between. You look at a Beowulf time, there were dragons and monsters. There were mysterious ruins and dungeons from a previous more advanced civilization. Religion wasn't fixed but very fluid in beliefs. One can imagine that diverse people really did gather in groups with assorted weapons and explore and travel for adventure.
  15. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran Alumni

    May 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    UO is naturally set aesthetically and culturally in an equivalent to our middle ages, but Lord British and his friends from Earth have brought with them parts and pieces of their culture and knowledge which have moved some aspects of the civilization father ahead than others.

    As an example of this, notice the facets where they had no influence seem more true to thier time period and culture than those that did. (Ilsh, Malas, and Tokuno).
  16. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    More renaissance than medieval really. (~1500s-1600s-ish) But at that point it's really just semantics.
  17. Sunrise

    Sunrise Guest

    LoL..ok after the day I have had,....thank you for the laugh Millie :D