19 Everyday Tradition Origins

Traditions we take for granted had to start somewhere. And sometimes they originated in the unlikeliest of places. Here are 19 customs' origin stories.


STANDING VATION Ovations come from Ancient Rome, when they. celebrated victorious military figures: However, this was a step below the greater honor oSource: Mental Floss


PAINTING NAILS The custom first started with warriors going off to battle in Babylonia in 3200 B.C., with the color signifying their class. CRACKEDCOrSource: Byrdie


GIVING A THUMBS UP It's believed the positive gesture derives from English archers in the Middle Ages. The thumbs up was the correct brace height ofSource: BBC


TEETH BRUSHING Ancient civilizations used chew sticks (a twig with a frayed End) since 3000 B.C. China invented the a bristle toothbrush, using hog'


THE RING FINGER Ancient Egyptians believed vein a ran directly from the fourth finger to the heart, which is why we wear the wedding finger there. CRASource: Vanity Fair


CROSSING FINGERS FOR LUCK Crossing fingers with another person was an ancient pagan custom to catch good luck. CRACKEDCOr Source: BBC


DEMANDING ENCORES Back in the Baroque days, audiences would demand that musicians, mid-song, replay sections that they enjoyed. Source: WQXR


KISSING The first evidence of kissing is in the Hindu Vedic Sanskrit texts that describe kissing as soul inhaling. Researchers believe kissing serves Source: BBC


COVERING YOUR MOUTH WHILE YAWNING ffhle Ancient cultures believed yawning left you vulnerable to evil spirits entering through your mouth. CRACKEDCON


THE BEST MAN A German Goth tradition, the best man was the best swordsman who could assist the groom with kidnapping the bride if the family disapprovSource: CNN


CROSSING FINGERS WHILE LYING Christians were believed to cross their fingers to absolve themselves of the lies they told their persecutors. CRACKEDGONSource: BBC


MAKING A WISH BEFORE BLOWING OUT CANDLES Ancient cultures believed smoke brought prayers to the heavens. CRACKEDCON Source: Mental Floss


PINKY SWEARING Pinky swearing may be derived from yubikiri, literally finger-cutting, which is a promise if broken, can result in having your finger


SAYING BLESS YOU AFTER A SNEEZE Bless you dates back to 77 C.E., when sneezes were considered a sign of health. That changed when it was a symptomSource: Mental Floss


HIGH-FIVING os 12 On Oct. 2, 1977, Glenn Burke, an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, reached his hand up to his teammate; Dusty Baker, who had jSource: ESPN


GIVING BUNNY EARS The cuckold's horns gesture derives from the Middle Ages, where the symbol was used to mock a man whose wife had cheated. CRACKED.Source: BBC


WRAPPING PAPER In 1917, the standard wrapping was tissue paper, but when Hallmark sold out, they started selling envelope lining paper instead. It wasSource: Mental Floss


BRIDESMAIDS Bridesmaids wore similar dresses to the bride in order to trick any evil spirit who may attempt to curse the bride. CRACKEDGON Source: CNN


SHAKING HANDS The handshake was first popularized in America by the Quakers, replacing the bow with the gesture that could be offered to everyone equaSource: JStor