A Bride's Bouquet.

Most people got married in June because back then, they took their yearly bath in May! and so still smelled pretty good in June. However they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

Bone House, Graveyard shift.

Saved by the Bell.

Dead Ringer.

Long, Long ago when the local folks started running out of places to bury people, they would dig up the coffins and then take the bones to a 'Bone House' and reuse the grave. When re-opening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins had scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive! So they thought they would tie a piece of string on the wrist or toe of the corpse, thread it through a hole in the coffin up through a tube to the surface and tie it to a bell. Someone then would sit out in the graveyard all night, 'Graveyard shift' to listen for the bell to ring. Thus soneone could be 'Saved by the Bell' or was considered a 'Dead Ringer'.

Bring home the Bacon.

Chew the Fat.

In the old days people rarely got meat to eat so when they got some pork, they would hag up the bacon for the visitors to see as it was considered a sign of wealth that the man of the house could bring 'home the bacon'.

They would then cut off a little to share with their guests and they would all sit around and 'chew the fat'.


The name of a prison which was on 'Clink' Street in the Southwark area of London.

Given the cold shoulder.

This is from a time when soldiers would return to there villages after battle. The locals would make them feel very welcome, when they had out stayed there welcome they would be given the cold joint of ham. Therefore being given the COLD SHOULDER

Sent in by Stacey Davies.

Dance in the brass kettle alone.

Can anyone tell me the meaning of this?

Sent in by Patricia Moody.

Daylight Robbery.

Like many English monarchs, in William III was short of money, which he attempted to rectify by the introduction of the much-despised Window Tax. As the name suggests, this was a tax levied on the windows or window-like openings of a property.

The Daylight Tax was from 1691 - 1851

Dead as a Door nail.

Nails were once handmade and costly. So when someone was pulling down old buildings they would salvage the nails to use again. When building a door however, carpenters often drove the nail through then bent it over on the other end so it could not work its way out. Now when it came to salvage, these bent 'Door nails' were considered useless or 'Dead'.

Dead as a Door nail.

This saying comes from the use of large heavy door knockers. The door knocker would hit on a large headed rivet or nail set into the door to make a more resonant sound rather then the dull thud that would have resulted from striking wood. Through being constantly hit on the head the nail was sarcastically considered to be well and truely dead. Thus when describing anything that was most certainly dead the best comparison was the door nail struck by the knocker, thus 'Dead as a Door Nail'.

Sent in by George Jarrold.

Dirt Poor.

The floor of a poor house would be just dirt, only the wealthy had solid floors.

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
Baths way back then consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water first, then came all the other sons and men, then the women and the children, finally the babies. By then of course the water was so dirty you could actually loose someone in it, so that is the reason for the saying.
If you know any Old Sayings and their Meanings, please e-mail me with details including your name and I will put them on this page.