Where did that come from? Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!

  1. Recently I was in St.Augustine Florida and took a tour of the oldest house in the US. St. Augustine had already celebrated their bicentennial (200 yrs) by the time the Pilgrams were celebrating their first Thanksgiving!

    The saying "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water", came from the weekly family bath. Dad would bathe first, then Mom, then each child, in the same tub of water. By the time the baby got bathed the water was so dirty you would be afraid you might not see the baby and throw the baby out with the bath water. Yikes!

    Nowadays it means: In getting rid of waste, don’t also discard what is worth keeping
    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Aug 21, '06
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   leslie :-D
    ugh.
    i can't even begin to visualize (accidentally) throwing the baby out.
    surely that never happened....

    leslie
  4. by   catlady
    not true.

    http://www.snopes.com/language/phrases/1500.htm

    "although the admonition against throwing the baby out with the bathwater dates back to the 16th century, its roots are germanic, not english. its first written occurrence was in thomas murner's 1512 versified satirical book narrenbeschwörung, and its meaning is purely metaphorical. (in simpler terms, no babies, no bathwater, just a memorable mental image meant to drive home a bit of advice against overreaction.)"
  5. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from catlady
    Not true.
    I find it hard to believe that a "National Historic Landmark Home" tourguide would be allow to give out untrue information. Who is this snoops anyway? They seems to refute everything and anything. How do we know they are on the up and up?
  6. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    I find it hard to believe that a "National Historic Landmark Home" tourguide would be allow to give out untrue information. Who is this snoops anyway? They seems to refute everything and anything. How do we know they are on the up and up?
    Like any good historian (or historical website) they provide references an foot notes. Like in the page above:

    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial]Ayto, John. Dictionary of Word Origins.[FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial] New York: Arcade Publishing, 1990. ISBN 1-559-70214-1. [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial]

    Burke, James. Connections.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial] London: Duckworth, 1998. [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial]

    Fraser, Antonia. The Wives of Henry VIII.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial] New York: Vintage Books, 1992. ISBN 0-769-73001-X.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial]
    Hendrickson, Robert. Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial] New York: Facts on File, 1997. ISBN 0-86237-122-7.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial]
    Iserson, Kenneth. Death to Dust: What Happens to Dead Bodies?
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial] Tuscon, Arizona: Galen Press, 1994. ISBN 1-883620-07-4.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial]
    Koontz, Stephanie. Marriage: A History.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial] New York: Viking Penguin, 2005. ISBN 0-670-03407-X (p. 125.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial]
    Mieder, Wolfgang. "(Don't) Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater."
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial] De Proverbio. Vol.1, No. 1; 1995.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial]
    Rawson, Hugh. Devious Derivations.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial] New York: Crown Trade Paperbacks, 1994. ISBN 0-517-88128-4.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial]
    Titelman, Gregory. Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial] New York: Random House, 1996. ISBN 0-679-44554-4.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial]
    Visser, Margaret. The Rituals of Dinner.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial] New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991. pp. 190-1, 211-2.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial] Merriam-Webster's New Book of Word Histories.[FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial] Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster Inc., 1991. ISBN 0-877-79603-3.
    Snopes does this for each and every web page they create regarding urban legends and myths. More information about how they arrive at the conclusions is posted at their FAQ

    Far as I know, snopes is the only website to consistently provide references and links.
    Last edit by Roy Fokker on Aug 22, '06
  7. by   Roy Fokker
    By the by:

    They don't refute all legends as untrue - infact, they provide references to support certain legends and classify them as the truth.
  8. by   sirI
    I was raised on this saying. Took bathes in number 2 washtubs and my grandmother would say, "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, (insert my mother's name)".
  9. by   DutchgirlRN
    Thanks, I ordered one of those books cited in snoops footnotes. When I get the book perhaps I'll start this thread again. Thanks for being so kind.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    My DH wrung out a mop, dumped the pail of soapy dirty water in the toilet, and flushed. He never found the ring he was wearing.
  11. by   RainDreamer
    I used to believe just about everything I read on the internet, before I discovered snopes a few years ago. Now any time I get an email I snope it out first :chuckle It's one of my favorite sites.
  12. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from spacenurse
    My DH wrung out a mop, dumped the pail of soapy dirty water in the toilet, and flushed. He never found the ring he was wearing.
    Wow, lucky you, a dh who has used the mop! (Sore subject in this house!!) On with the thread...

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