Medieval terms we use every day


Often we use terms today that no one ever really gives a second thought to.
Here are a few of those terms and their original uses.

Dirt poor

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt – hence the saying “dirt poor.”  The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing.

Thresh hold

As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until when you opened the door it would start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance way, – hence the saying a “thresh hold.”

… of particular note:

The average Middle Ages houses were extremely small and housed the entire family. They rarely had completed floors, many of them having dirt or straw floors that added to the dampness. Most homes only consisted of a couple of rooms in which the entire family resided. This was not only their sleeping quarters, but their cooking, resting, and area in which they had family time.

Most family time was extremely limited since most of the homes of peasants contained both the parents and the children, the whole family worked in order to help support the entire family. This meant that it was generally early to bed and early to rise, and left little time in between to try and work on their schooling or bond with their family.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here