May 25th, 2004

Из безумной рассылки

Историческая (якобы) версия происхождения выражений "It's raining cats and dogs" и "wake".


Houses had thatched roofs -- thick straw -- piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats, and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained, it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. (Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs.") There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom,
where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That is how canopy beds came into existence.


Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake."