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I have a quick question, it is a question that has been bugging me for a couple of years and I am at my wit's end on who to ask about it. A few years back I was in a class (I don't remember what class) when something the teacher said jumped out at me and has stuck in my mind since then. She said that people always use the phrase "rule of thumb" and asked us if any of us knew what that meant. She said that in the past it was an actual rule that prevented men from beating their wives with a stick that stretched longer than from the top of their shoulder to the end of their thumb!!!!!! Can you believe that!!! Ever since then every time I hear someone say "rule of thumb" I want to strangle them. Mainly I want to know is this true? And if it is do you know more? Doesn't it make you wonder how many things we say today that have such awful origins as that? Please let me know. Thank you for your time. - Melissa

Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM. Unfortunately, what your teacher told you is mostly true--It was actually that husbands couldn't use a rod bigger than their thumbs. You can read the actual law in Blackstones legal guide or if you send me your mailing address, I will send it do you. Sad, but true--and yes, I can only imagine what else is out there. Thanks for writing.
Amy

 

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