Monday, April 16, 2012
Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite
Although there's no actual proof, it is thought that the phrase "Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite" originates from Tudor times, when mattresses were supported by ropes which needed to be pulled tight to provide a well-sprung bed.
The "don't let the bed bugs bite" element is fairly unequivocal (bed bugs have been known as human parasites for thousands of years), but it is pure supposition that the "sleep tight" part is related to the tightening of bed ropes (a task that would have been performed by servants using a rudimentary wrench on a fairly regular basis).
It does make sense though and if nothing else, will give you a pretty convincing and conclusive explanation to an inquisitive child ("But why?") who is trying to delay the inevitable at bedtime...