Medieval Mondays: The Cold Shoulder

God Speed

I love any and everything Medieval.

That being said, I have decided to begin a series called Medieval Mondays. Woot Woot! Each week, I am going to highlight a phrase, tradition, or custom that interests me (and hopefully will interest you too!).

Let’s get this party started!

Medieval Monday 1

Did you know that alot of the phrases we use today actually have their origin in the Medieval period, including some phrases that you might not expect…such as “giving someone the cold shoulder.”

Today, we give someone the cold shoulder when we ignore them or deliberately avoid them. In the Middle Ages, however, rudeness was a little more subtle.

If you were of noble birth and hosted a great feast or banquet, societal rules dictated that certain families (also of noble stock) would have to be invited…regardless of if you liked them or not. So, how did nobility deal with irrtitating guests at these functions? Well, they would literally “give them the cold shoulder”…the cold shoulder of meat. As you can imagine, cold shoulder meat was tough and unappetizing. So, if you received this unwanted dish, you knew your presence was not appreciated.

While this fact was interesting, what really made me happy was to imagine if society still operated this way! Picture it: people walking around handing cold shoulders of meat to individuals who are getting on their nerves!



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