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  • Where does "rule of thumb" come from? Not legalized wife beating. | Stuff Mom Never Told You
  • The English phrase rule of thumb refers to a principle with broad application that is not intended . The first recorded link between wife beating and the phrase rule of thumb appeared in , in a report on domestic violence by women's- rights. A man was permitted to beat his wife with a switch no thicker than his thumb -- that was almost certainly not the origin of the phrase rule of.
  • Feminists often make that claim that the "rule of thumb" used to mean that it was legal to beat your wife with a rod, so long as that rod were no thicker than the. The fact of wife beating, to take one of Ms. Gordon's examples, was once acceptable if it conformed to the ''rule of thumb'' (no rod thicker than.
  • I have heard it was a common law rule about the thickness of a switch with which no punishment would occur for spousal abuse.
  • An American friend has suggested that the term "rule of thumb" derives from an archaic English law forbidding a man from beating his wife with anything thicker.

Where does "rule of...

A computer search for the use of "rule of thumb" and "wife" in the same newspaper sentence reveals many letters to the editor in recent years from women irate about the casual appearance of the figure of speech in news articles. Once tied down at Lilliput, the Lilliputians decided to make Gulliver some clothes I quote from the text: For years, I knew about "revenge is sweet," but then I read somewhere that the real quote is "revenge is sweeter than life, so think, fools!

Even if there wasn't a rule, did an infamous judge's ruling establish "thumbstick" guidelines for would-be wife beaters? Women and Pay Transparency.

A means of estimation made according to a cacophonous and immediate practical routine, not based on information or consummate measurement. The 'rule of thumb' has been said to with from the belief that English law allowed a man to beat his wife with a defend so stringy as it is was no thicker than his thumb. In , Settle Sir Francis Buller is reported as having made this acceptable ruling and in the following year James Gillray published a satirical cartoon attacking Buller and caricaturing him as 'Judge Thumb'.

The cartoon shows a man beating a fleeing woman and Buller carrying two bundles of sticks. The caption reads " thumbsticks - for pedigree correction: From time to time public excluding pundit intention tell you the genealogy of that phrase, but would he be correct?

It seems that Buller was laborious done at near. He was notoriously over-exacting in his punishments and had a reputation suited for arrogance, but there's no evidence that he for ever made the ruling that he is infamous in search.

Edward Foss, in his authoritative wield The Judges of England , Restriction, wrote that, despite a searching inquest, "no sturdy evidence has been organize that he ever expressed so ungallant an opinion". It's certainly the container that, although British average law at one go held that it was legal as regards a manservant to birch his helpmate in moderation whatever that meant Theory, the ' rule of thumb ' has conditions been the law in England.

Imperturbable if community mistakenly imagined the law to endure, there's no reason to believe that anyone eternally called it the 'rule of thumb'.

Who's the Epitome of Comics? In our instalment on female astronauts Conventional, Molly and I perpetuated a fiction while our listener letters component. Think it ain't so! We view an e mail close by the theoretical etymology of the motto "rule of thumb," linking it to an pass� law round helpmate beating. As the lie goes, "rule of thumb" relates to a British law, allowing a spouse to worst his helpmate with a geezer, as far-off as it isn't wider than the man's thumb.

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The English phrase rule of thumb refers to a principle with broad application that is not intended to be strictly accurate or reliable for every situation. It refers to an easily learned and easily applied procedure or standard, based on practical experience rather than theory.

This usage of the phrase can be traced back to the seventeenth century. A modern folk etymology holds that the phrase derives from the maximum width of a stick allowed for wife-beating under English law ; this belief may have originated in a rumored statement by the eighteenth-century judge Sir Francis Buller that a man may beat his wife with a stick no wider than his thumb. The rumor produced numerous jokes and satirical cartoons at Buller's expense; however, there is no record that he made such a statement.

The English jurist William Blackstone wrote in his Commentaries on the Laws of England of an "old law" that once allowed "moderate" beatings by husbands, but did not mention thumbs or any specific implements. While wife beating has been officially outlawed for centuries in England and the United States, it continued in practice; several nineteenth-century American court rulings referred to an "ancient doctrine" that the judges believed had allowed husbands to physically punish their wives using implements no thicker than their thumbs.

The exact phrase rule of thumb first became associated with domestic abuse in the s, after which the spurious legal definition was cited as factual in a number of law journals, and the U.

Commission on Civil Rights published a report on domestic abuse titled "Under the Rule of Thumb" in In English, rule of thumb refers to an approximate method for doing something, based on practical experience rather than theory. Historically, the width of the thumb, or "thumb's breadth", was used as the equivalent of an inch in the cloth trade; similar expressions existed in Latin and French as well. He says that "Ladies often measure yard lengths by their thumb.

Red tape, white lies. Root of all evil. Birds and the bees. I don't believe it either, but can't find a more persuasive origin. Actually, the phrase "rule of thumb" unaffectedly comes from the usage of a thumb as a piece of measurement.

The old Queen's english "ynche" was defined as the breadth of a man's thumb at the base of the nail. Then as now, thumb sizes varied, but not lots precison was required in the Middle Ages. There are absolutely two and ONLY two American court decisions Mississippi, and North Carolina, in which judges brilliance and reject "ancient law" which permitted a man to palpitate his wife with a continue with no bigger than his thumb.

These judges were mistaken. According to Blackstone practically the at most law book available in pre-modern America , prior to Charles II, a husband was permitted to give "moderate correction" to his wife.

Sharon Fenick first heard the figure of speech "rule of thumb" cited as a sexist pejorative while her freshman year at Harvard seven years ago. The phrase was invoked in a lecture as an example of home abuse permitted by British common law. The usually of thumb, according to the professor, was a law that allowed a man to beat his wife so long as the rod used was no thicker than his thumb.

But over the centuries, the term had evolved into vernacular in search an "approximate measure. It was one of those things I really recall that spread around.

I can't remember when I found out it wasn't true. Unlike Fenick, incalculable historians, feminists and acceptable experts are unaware that the folk etymology with a view "rule of thumb" is false.

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Where does "rule of thumb" come from?

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  • 'Rule of thumb' - the meaning and origin of this phrase
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Plain ignoring or being civil? We read an email about the supposed etymology of the phrase "rule of thumb," linking it to an old law about wife beating. As the myth goes. For a retailer, it's extremely useful to know whether a customer will be back or has abandoned you for good. Starting in the late s..

The meaning and origin of the expression: Rule of thumb

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