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Jone Johnson Lewis

Is "Rule of Thumb" a Reference to Wife-Beating?

By January 29, 2013

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That a man was permitted to beat his wife with a switch no thicker than his thumb was a fact, though it was probably not a formal law anywhere nor stated in common law in exactly that form -- and was almost certainly not the origin of the phrase "rule of thumb." Read more about this myth of women's history:


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