Most likely none of this is true, but it is entertaining.

1. In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. That's where the phrase, "goodnight, sleep tight" came from.

2. It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the "honey month" or what we know today as the honeymoon."

3. In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's".

4. Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle," is the phrase inspired by this practice.

5. In ancient England, a person could not have sex unless you had consent of the King (unless you were in the Royal Family). When anyone wanted to have a baby, they got consent of the King, the King gave them a placard that they hung on their door while they were having sex. The placard had F.*.*.*.(Fornication Under Consent of the King) on it. Now you know where that came from.

6. In Scotland, a new game was invented. It was entitled Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden....and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language

7. Subject: Thought "yew" knew it all?

Before the Battle Of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous weapon was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as "plucking the yew" (or "pluck Yew").

Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, "See, we can still pluck yew! "PLUCK YEW!"

Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative 'F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute are mistakenly thought to have something to do with an intimate encounter.

It is also because of pheasant feathers on the arrows used with a longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as "giving the bird".

And yew thought yew knew everything!

With grateful thanks to Gary White who published this on Wed, 31 Jan 2001