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Between the 16th and 19th centuries, women would go out on the town wearing complicated, frilly hoop dresses that weren’t easy to walk around in, much less sit.
When a man pulled out a chair for her, it gave her one less thing to worry about when trying to lower her butt into a sitting position. Getting married or having a kid was no guarantee that good things were coming your way.
Some reported encountering yawning dogs, which caused them to yawn, and then the dog “disappeared from sight and I was seized with fever and my face was turned round backwards.” Think about that the next time you cover your mouth while yawning. If you’re yawning too much, you should work on your sleep by learning the 11 Doctor-Approved Secrets For Falling Asleep Faster Tonight.
Ancient knights had to lift their visors to prove that they were nice guys who weren’t looking for a fight, and that’s more or less the reason that wearing hats inside is still frowned upon. About 1,500 years ago, the Justinian plague (or “Black Death”) swept through Europe and killed about 25 million people, roughly half the world’s population.
Who else but a fabulously wealthy person could afford to walk around in a fancy black outfit just because somebody in his family had died?
A marriage wasn’t always about a man and woman declaring their love in front of their friends and family.
Such exclamations as “The Dickens,” or “Mercy,” or “Good Gracious,” should never be used,” the author writes.
A gentleman should also be “very careful in selecting her horse,” and women “kissing each other in public is decidedly vulgar, and is avoided entirely by ladies of delicacy and true refinement.” It’s all so adorable and antiquated.
That used to be called “being a gentleman.” For more about being a gentleman, read up on the 20 Things She Always Wants You To Say.Pope Gregory I, the Catholic Church pontiff whose predecessor had been forced into early retirement by the plague, was understandably a little nervous about the situation, and so he decreed that when anybody was heard sneezing—one of the first signs that they’d been infected with the plague—they should be told “God bless you.” It was the “thoughts and prayers” of its day.Speaking of sneezing, here’s 9 Ways To Breathe Easier During Allergy Season. ”) Thomas Edison suggested that the salutation would be an excellent way to answer a telephone, because the word wasn’t commonly used and could be heard “ten to twenty feet away,” he said.Weapons were usually kept on a person’s left side in a scabbard, a fancy sheath made of leather or metal, where they could be easily pulled out.But by extending a right hand, it was a way of saying, “I’ve decided against stabbing you.” For more etiquette advice, check our Sophisticated Man’s Guide to Fine Dining.
(For more laughs on how life was centuries ago, be sure to read The 28 Most Enduring Myths in American History.) But you might also stumble across a few rules that you recognize from modern times—things we do without questioning it, like saying “hello” when you pick up the phone, or clicking glasses during a toast, or covering your mouth when you yawn. You may be surprised to learn how much of the etiquette we take for granted has been around for centuries.