Architecture Puzzler #253
True or False: Back in the 1500s, houses in England:
1) had thatched roofs (thick straw) piled high with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats, and other small animals that could climb up (including mice and bugs), lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof — hence the saying "it's raining cats and dogs."
2) had nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.
3) mostly had floors of dirt. Only the wealthy had floors of finer materials, hence the expression "dirt poor."
4) for the wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway, hence a "thresh hold."