Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Nose To The Grindstone

Posted by Elyse Bruce on March 11, 2010

The Pilgrims were also responsible for this phrase.  Back in the 1600s, the main staple food was corn.  However, in order to get the greatest use from corn, it had to be ground finely until it was cornmeal.

In order to achieve this feat, corn kernels were poured into a stone bowl in which the millstone rested.  The millstone, of course, was turned by the power of the windmill.  However, in order to get the corn into the bowl, the miller had to pour it in from the backside which meant his face was as close to the millstone as you could get without actually causing injury.

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