Origins of Words & Sayings

As a special Christmas treat, a double helping of origins today! Both come from the excellent BBC programme Tudor Monastery Farm.



Ye Olde Tudor Times

The first is actually pretty obvious, I suppose. In Ye Olde Tudor Times, drinking vessels were known as cups. At a banquet, a number of cups would be taken to the table on a board designed for the purpose – hence the term Cupboard!




The second origin is more obscure, and comes from the early days of printing. I’m pretty sure I featured ‘Wrong end of the stick’ a while back, which, if my memory serves me right

A Tudor printer out of sorts

A Tudor printer out of sorts

comes from the thing that held the individual letters for the printing press – they had to put them in upside down and the wrong way round, thus it was important not to get the ‘wrong end of the stick’.

The letters themselves were called ‘sorts’ – and obviously, a printer who found himself out of sorts would not be a happy man!




Merry Christmas to all my readers!


About ramblesofawriter

Writer, thinker, tea drinker.
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