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> Peter Montgomery wrote:
>
> A student sent me the piece below. It's not
> documented but it has a ring of truth about it.

Snopes debunks many urban legends and internet myths, including this one.

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

    Claim: The numerous current sayings listed in the popular "Life in the
    1500s" e-mail sprang from ordinary living conditions in that era.

    Status:   False.

A long explanation follows that.

Regards,
    Rick Parker