Ever wonder where the term “piss poor” comes from? Here is your lesson.
Animal skins used to be tanned with urine. So families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day take it and sell it to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were "piss poor". But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot. They "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.
What Else Was Cooking?
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."
By the way, those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing death by lead poisoning. This happened most often with tomatoes. Thus for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.