Some facts about the 1500s (3)

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a "bone-house" and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the around and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the "graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered a "dead ringer."

Vocabulary Help

  • alive - vivo
  • bell - sineta
  • bone - osso
  • bury - enterrar
  • coffin - caixões
  • corpse - corpo
  • dig up - desenterrar
  • grave - túmulo
  • graveyard - cemitério
  • inside - parte de dentro
  • local folks - os habitantes do lugar
  • old - velha
  • run out of - ficar sem
  • saved by the bell - salvo pelo gongo
  • scratch mark - marcas de arranhado
  • small - pequena
  • string - corda
  • think (think, thought, thought) - pensar
  • tie - amarrar
  • wrist - pulso


Borrowed from