August 1, 2007

Random Knowledge #1

Quote: "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

Meaning: Don't throw the good stuff out with the bad stuff (more or less)

I always love to know where weird sayings like this come from. Well this one I've known for a while but I figured it would be random knowledge thing #1.

Back in the early settlement days of living without the convenience of running water and grand sewage systems, bathing was a planned event. Upon fetching the water from the local crick or well it was then heated by kettle or bucket and dumped into a big tub. Think Bonanza or Little House on the Prairie style.
Once the bath was ready to go, the ordering of bathing was pa, ma, and then kids oldest to youngest. Pa was covered with dirt from working the land all day, and ma was often not much cleaner. Kids are always covered in dirt, so by the time that the baby got a bath the water was already so cloudy you couldn't see into the dirty water. So when the water was thrown out there could have been a baby in it...which is weirder than the phrase.

But, that's where the phrase Don't throw the baby out with the bath water." came from.

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