Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

As A Rule Of Thumb

Posted by Elyse Bruce on February 9, 2010

Most old English measures of distance were based on the body measurements of the king.

This means that the length of the foot, became known as a foot and was 12 inches long. An inch was the distance between the thumb tip to first knuckle while a cubit was the distance between the elbow and the tip of the index finger.  A yard was the distance between the tip of the nose and the tip of the index finger.

There is no truth to the myth that Old English law declared it was acceptable for a man to beat his wife as long as he used a stick no larger in diameter than his thumb.

There is no truth to the myth that the women’s rights movement came about due to this non-existent law.

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