Friday, January 29, 2010

Expressions Explained, Part 2



As incredible as it sounds, in the late 1700s, men and women took baths only twice a year--May and October! Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term "big wig."

Today we often use the term "here comes the Big Wig" because someone appears to be powerful and wealthy.

24 comments:

Patti said...

I didn't know that...you are always a wealth of information! Love these! THANKS!

Judi said...

Hi Sally
Oh yuck...can you imagine how a house smelled with all the people living in it who only bathed twice a year! Oh dear. Interesting about the wig...interesting
I'm having a Giveaway!
have a lovely day
Judi

Becky K. said...

Isn't it too sad that they truly believed being too clean was unhealthy. Oh well, at least they were all dirty together.

So glad I am not a bigwig.
Becky K.

sara said...

can you imagine how good that bath must have felt?!!! yikes!

LV said...

I never heard this about wigs. Some of them today are nice and very real looking. Your picture today about put me into shock. I thought what has happened at Sally's. You find some of the best fun shots.

Sandi@ My Yellow Door said...

Hi Sally,
I knew they only bathed twice a year. Can you imagine the odor? It's interesting how people have changed over the years. Now we shower once or twice a day. Glad I'm not a 'bigwig!' Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day.

Blessings,
Sandi

Cherie said...

Really? Where DO you find this stuff? lol

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Sally!!! LOL! I loved reading this. It is fascinating. I never knew...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Uhhhh, so gross, I've head this before. They say the Queen of England called the American Indians savages and couldn't believe they actually bathed every day. She thought it was a waste of time and effort.
I can't stand to go more than 3 days without washing my hair.
I've read somewhere.... that is why they has most weddings in June because the Bride would carry a bouquet of fresh flowers to help cover the odor.
Ok, got to go wash my hair, I already feel bugs crawling...lol...
Molly

April said...

I NEVER knew that...thanks, Sally!!!

Charlotte said...

How interesting.

Diane at Crafty Passions said...

Can you imagine bathing twice a year yuk !!
Interesting facts!
Diane

Killlashandra said...

Ok, I did not know they baked them. That is interesting. ;)

Darlene said...

I have heard about the bathing thing before and that is just too GROSS!! It's a wonder people ever got pregnant cause just eeeeeww!

I haven't heard about the wigs though so quite interesting! You learn something new every day!!! Hope you are enjoying yours. We are.....it is snowing away.♥

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Peeeeouuuuu... Can you imagine only bathing twice a year????? GADS!!!!

Interesting info about 'big wig'... I had never heard this before.

We have snow-snow-snow today/tonight.. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it... Can you just imagine how excited I am????

Hugs,
Betsy

Mevely317 said...

I'm cracking up over here, just visualizing some pompous dude shedding his hairpiece athen carefully tucking it inside a bread shell! We're sooo lucky!

The Muse said...

That picture is hysterical!

artis1111 said...

We keep a wig book at the beauty shop for the ladies that loose their hair for cancer or ther issues. I have to say the wig has come a long way ,and yes I have worn one before. I wore a fall on my first wedding day. Now the wigs are so good, even I sometimes can't tell the diference. A long way so they give dignaty to ladies that no longer have their hair.Kathy

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Sally, how interesting! laurie

Cindy said...

And we tend to romanticize the old days. Can you imagine.
cindy

Judi said...

Hi Sally
I got your message about my Giveaway and I wanted to say you don't have to be a Follower to leave your name for the Draw. I was offering followers an additional chance. I hope you'll be back through my Sidebar and leave your name.
Hope you are having a great day
Judi

Lorrie said...

Very interesting and enjoyable post Sally. Loved learning where the "big wig" expression got started. I'm truly glad that we live in the era of indoor plumbing so we don't have to deal with the odors, or the bugs!

Elizabeth said...

Love the explanation, as well as the awesome photo!

Cathy said...

You've got to be kidding me, Sally. Unbelievable. You do find out a lot of information.