Origin of the rule of thumb

You are commenting using your Twitter account. She found that for more than two centuries there have been references in legal works to the idea that a man may legally beat his wife, provided that he used a stick no thicker than his thumb; but the references were always to what some people believed, not to established legal principle. The false etymology persists despite the Oxford English Dictionary definition: "A method or procedure derived entirely from practice or experience, without any basis in scientific knowledge; a roughly practical method. Others have used this belief as an example of feminist exaggeration. Latest Thoughts Anonymous on there's no place like home Alisson on at the drop of a hat Jacques Boutard, retired English teacher on everything but the kitchen sink Priya Naidu on feather in your cap A reader on hold your horses.
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rule of thumb

View American English definition of rule of thumb. In , Del Martin, a coordinator of the N. The technologists say that human ingenuity can solve just about Was there such a rule? The Massachusetts Bay Colony prohibited wife-beating as early as By , it was illegal in almost every state; but even before then, wife-beaters were arrested and punished for assault and battery. Always imagined it to be a naval reference to torpedo tubes because once it's gone down the tubes it isn't coming back.
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The Rule of Thumb – All Things Georgian

However, the mere fact that the author felt it necessary to remind the reader that it was NOT a rule to be followed or applied, shows that it was widely believed. The false etymology persists despite the Oxford English Dictionary definition: "A method or procedure derived entirely from practice or experience, without any basis in scientific knowledge; a roughly practical method. The edict states: "No man shall strike his wife nor any woman her husband on penalty of such fine not exceeding ten pounds for one offense, or such corporal punishment as the County shall determine. According to Blackstone practically the only law book available in pre-modern America , prior to Charles II, a husband was permitted to give "moderate correction" to his wife. Kelly's overall position is that the "rule of thumb" is not a principal enshrined in the law, and that this idea that it is enshrined in law derives from a book by Davidson who claims that a "rule of thumb" is a traditional justification for wife-beating.
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But whether the "rule of thumb" was accepted as law was a separate matter. The Port Folio page Jacob, Giles. 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 husband's thumb. This edition Current Archive. More BuzzWords cakeism glamping hygge optics paliday nanobreak youthquake daycation omnishambles BuzzWord archive. A text may be proved to be inaccurate or false, but "if it reflects some deeper truth in society, it doesn't go away. Since its inception, the site has expanded its mission from probing the genesis and spread of urban legends to "confirming or disproving beliefs and facts of all kinds, including origin of vernacular.
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