20 Words And Gestures With Shocking Original Meanings


A bridesmaid is a woman, most likely a friend or relative, who attends to the needs of the bride on her wedding day. In ancient Rome, bridesmaids were fodder for evil spirits – the bride and a group of her friends would dress identically so the evil spirits would get confused and not harm the bride on her big day.

God Bless You

Its the phrase you repeat out of politeness when someone sneezes, but when it was first used it was intended to protect a sick person’s soul. During the Black Plague, Pope Gregory told the members of the church to tell an sneezing person “God bless you” as it was usually a symptom of impending illness.

Shaking Hands

Everyone knows that shaking hands is a universally common greeting among friendly people. When it was first used it wasn’t so amicable – people shook hands to prove to one another that they weren’t carrying a weapon.

Seven Year Itch

If you’re a fan of Marilyn Monroe, then you probably know the term that describes the wandering eyes of spouses after seven years of marriage. Originally, the term referred to the itch that accompanied scabies, which came from mites burrowing into the skin – the symptom could last for years and years.