Thresholds

Wednesday, February 7                   

I’m fascinated with words.  Etymology is always interesting, although I don’t have much time to  pursue it.  Here’s an example—the word “threshold.”  It comes from the life of a commoner or share-cropper in old England.  Families lived in a thatched huts with dirt floors.  With vermin and chickens and pigs, the floors were hard to keep clean, especially in winter.  As winter came on, the floors were covered with straw, called thresh in England at that time.  It helped absorb litter, but also was a bit of insulation against the cold of winter, particularly for sleeping.  They didn’t have beds as we know them.  But little by little through the winter, the thresh got tracked outside.  To remedy that they installed a piece of wood across the entrance way to keep the thresh in.  That piece of wood was known as the “thresh hold,” developing into “threshold” over the years.  Remember that the next time you carry your bride over the threshold.  We still use this word today—to thresh, threshing machine.  You see why I like etymology.   You probably noticed that there is nothing particularly spiritual in this blog.  Just thought you might enjoy it!

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