"wrapped in cotton wool" and "pin money"

Discuss word origins and meanings.

Re: "wrapped in cotton wool" and "pin money"

Post by trolley » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:48 pm

Tony, I found something that jives with the "sewing up the kids" story on the Ambleside Oral History Group:

"Ambleside Oral History Group commenced recording in 1976 and has created an Archive of over 300 interviews, on almost every subject related to life in Ambleside, Cumbria, and its surrounding area, in the Lake District of England, beginning with memories from the 1880’s."

Here's the link
http://www.aohg.org.uk/twww/health4.html
Seventh paragraph up from the bottom of the page.
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Re: "wrapped in cotton wool" and "pin money"

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:35 am

There are many more pages describing daily life in Cumbria in the decades immediately before and after the turn of the 20th century. Click here for a full listing.

I'm grateful to Trolley for pointing me to this remarkable collection.
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Re: "wrapped in cotton wool" and "pin money"

Post by tony h » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:57 pm

trolley: that is most interesting.
I will pass it on to my other half.
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Signature: tony

With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

Re: "wrapped in cotton wool" and "pin money"

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:51 am

.. ahhh it gives one a warm fuzzy feeling when our collective browsing turns up something that is outstandingly useful .. we DO have a purpose besides ... besides .. besides well just besides ..

WoZ beside himself
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: "wrapped in cotton wool" and "pin money"

Post by trolley » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:48 pm

So, were these babies shittin' in "high" cotton?
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Re: "wrapped in cotton wool" and "pin money"

Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:13 am

aaa
They were wishin' for spring!
_______________________

Ken - November 17, 2016
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Re: "wrapped in cotton wool" and "pin money"

Post by BonnieL » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:29 pm

"Wrapped in cotton wool" - I always understood that as a metaphor for coddling or over-protecting someone. As a mother of two (the ubiquitous two!), I know that no one would ever wrap an infant in swaddling for more than a day. Aside from the stench, the skin problems that would result could kill a baby.
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Re: "wrapped in cotton wool" and "pin money"

Post by tony h » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:34 am

BonnieL wrote:"Wrapped in cotton wool" - I always understood that as a metaphor for coddling or over-protecting someone. As a mother of two (the ubiquitous two!), I know that no one would ever wrap an infant in swaddling for more than a day. Aside from the stench, the skin problems that would result could kill a baby.
If I read your comment right, and that you disbelieve the practice existed (as I did originally), I think you are guilty of reimagining history. Certainly the first hand accounts that I read of London and the more accessible link that Trolley posted earlier evidence that people did. The mistake, I think, is imagining that associated smell was something to be concerned about.

The following is the quote from Trolley's link: But in houses were there was a special baby bath, it was usually placed on a low table, with the mother or nurse sitting on a low nursing chair by the side. However, in some North country villages, washing the children in the winter months was unheard of because they were sewn into their clothes from autumn until spring:

"They used to sew their children in during the autumn. They had a sewing-in day. They sewed them into their clothes and left them there till spring. They were sewn in for warmth. They thought they would die of cold otherwise. With only enough freedom left to answer the calls of nature, the sewn-up children soon smelt very distinctive:

"They were filthy. That was nothing in those days. You had to be quite strong minded to go into the houses because they rather smelt, although they were so clean on the outside, they scrubbed their steps and whitened the edges."

Its probably fair to conclude that only the fittest survived a country babyhood, and consequently most grew into strong children able to tolerate the usual childhood complaints of measles and chicken pox.


I remember my grandmother saying, of her grandparent move from Scotland to Canada, that the lure was that fuel (wood) was available for the labour - which meant she always lived in a warm house in Canada but had lived in a community that lost children to the cold in Scotland.
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Signature: tony

With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

End of topic.
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