Does the phrase rule of thumb

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A rule of thumb is a means of estimation made according to a rough and ready practical rule, not based on science or exact measurement. 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. InJudge Sir Francis Buller is reported as having made this legal ruling and in the following year James Gillray published a satirical cartoon attacking Buller and caricaturing him as 'Judge Thumb'.

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Sharon Fenick first heard the figure of speech "rule of thumb" cited as a sexist pejorative during her freshman year at Harvard seven years ago. The phrase was invoked in a lecture as an example of domestic abuse permitted by British common law. The rule of thumb, according to the professor, was a law that allowed a man to beat his wife so long as the rod used was no thicker than his thumb.

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Copyright,Jennifer J. Freyd, jjf dynamic. It may be circulated in electronic version so long as this copyright and use statement is included and the essay is not modified in any way.

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It's one of the myths of women's history. Well, except that it may still be rude to use a phrase that you know will upset people. It may also be rude to assume that people who use the phrase are being rude.

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Grammar, etymology, usage, and more, brought to you by Patricia T. People working with victims of such abuse frequently use that explanation in building awareness of a HUGE social and moral problem. Instead of debunking this so casually, it would have been helpful if you had taken just a moment to explain what you meant.

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By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. It only takes a minute to sign up. Where does the phrase rule of thumb originate from?

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I remember reading it had something to do with being permitted to beat your wife with a rod no thicker than your thumb. Is this correct? A This sounds like the invention of somebody desperately trying to make sense of a traditional phrase — what linguists call folk etymology.

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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. It refers to an easily learned and easily applied procedure or standard, based on practical experience rather than theory. This usage of the phrase can be traced back to the seventeenth century, and has been associated with various trades where quantities were measured by comparison to the width or length of a thumb.

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See more words from the same year. Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rule of thumb. What made you want to look up rule of thumb? Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible.


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