Origins of Sayings


Days Gone By

Today’s offering takes us back to days gone by. It’s another phrase that comes from flour milling, a subject that seems to provide us with a fair number of sayings still in use today. (I featured ‘Grinding to a halt’ some time back – when the two stone discs that grind the corn meet each other instead of there being a gap, thus making it too hard for the sails of the mill to turn.) The one I’m highlighting today is pretty straight forward and obvious once you know the explanation. I got it when I was watching Tudor Monastery Farm on the BBC – a good source of such information as well as being an excellent programme. As long as the mill didn’t grind to a halt, the miller would be left with flour to make bread with. The finer the flour, the lighter and better the quality of bread – and the miller would test his results simply by rubbing the flour between his thumb and fingers – hence the rule of thumb!

Sussex, Polegate Windmill


About ramblesofawriter

Writer, thinker, tea drinker.
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