Thursday, September 11, 2008

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

"Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."
In medieval times baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.


This has been our 1st Post of "Where did that come from?". Now, what the heck does that mean when your mother says that to you? I don't fricken know!! Usually when this is uttered to me, I smile and nod indicating that I understand, all the while thinking what that would look like with a baby falling out of a dirty tub. When in truth, I don't know. Thankfully I can only remember one time it was said to me by my mother. Next time...I will be armed with such knowledge that I shall stun her into forgetting what she was speaking of in the first place. LOL

After googling it. (man that sounds dirty) I have however come up with some answers. It is a version of a German proverb. It was first written in a book by Thomas Murner. (1475-1537) His satirical book had a chapter in it titled "To throw the baby out with the bath water" {Are you snoring yet? Because I am about to.} Basically the meaning, put in simpleton terms, "Not to throw out the good with the bad" Which is the good or the bad, I think is up to personal preference.

I want to thank Wolfgang Mieder of the University of Vermont for his article on this phrase and how it became Americanized. You can see the article here.


TragicComedy said...

Well that is just completely backwards. I know that society had men on a pedestal then but come on. Men are ALWAYS dirtier. It's what they do. The dirtiest should have to bathe last. And poor babies. The ones who would need the clean water most.

Jennifer The Forgetful Faerie Queen said...

Yup it took a lot of restraint on my part to start men bashing at this thought. Not the men of today bashing but definitely the idiots of back in the day. No wonder infant mortality rates were high. Men!!

The Tome Traveller said...

I love "Where did that come from", what a great idea!

Jennifer The Forgetful Faerie Queen said...

Thank you Tome Traveller.

Related Posts with Thumbnails