He says that "Ladies often measure yard lengths by their thumb. This usage of the phrase can be traced back to history of rule of thumb seventeenth century, and has been associated with various trades where quantities were measured by comparison to the width or length of a thumb. While Martin appears to have meant the phrase rule of thumb only as a figure of speech, some feminist writers treated it as a literal reference to an earlier law. This page was last edited on 13 Januaryat In English, rule of thumb refers to an approximate method for doing something, based on practical experience rather than theory.
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The meaning and origin of the expression: Rule of thumb
The 'rule of thumb' has been said to derive from the belief that English law allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick so long as it is was no thicker than his thumb. The responses that circulated then, which assumed the wife-beating law to be true, may have been influenced by Gillray's cartoon or were possibly a reaction to The Rolling Stones' song ' Under My Thumb ', which was history of rule of thumb in Nor is it true that a husband has a right to whip his wife. However, such a rule of thumb was never codified in law.
The English phrase rule of thumb refers to a principle with broad application that is not intended to be strictly accurate or reliable for every situation. A complete collection of Scottish proverbs explained and made intelligible to the English reader. Included in the British Common Law was a section regulating wifebeating [ Encyclopedia of Urban Legends.
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