January 16, 2014 | Vol. 117 -- No. 39

Facts about life and language in the 1800s

Of Cabbages and Kings

I’ve been looking through an old book. The book isn’t old but most of the words in it are. It’s titled “Everyday Life In The 1800s.” There must be some things my ancestors said in there somewhere. Not going back too far I remember one of my grandmothers would say, “Pershaw!” Or “Mercy me” I think the first one meant “I don’t believe you” and the second one meant “Mercy me, get that dog out of here!” My other grandmother often said “I’m gonna lie down for twenty winks.” That meant she intended to have a short nap.

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The 1800s book has pictures of families and...

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