Tom Thumb - Victoria and Albert Museum - real wife thumb

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The English phrase rule of thumb refers to a principle with broad application that is not intended However, a rule of thumb permitting wife beating was never codified in law. English Nor is it true that a husband has a right to whip his wife.

Rule of Thumb Origin and the Legality of Wife-Beating Most of her statement is undoubtedly true: married women had little recourse if a.

I can't remember when I found out it wasn't true. A computer search for the use of "rule of thumb" and "wife" in the same newspaper sentence.

As the myth goes, "rule of thumb" relates to a British law, allowing a to beat his wife with a stick, as long as it isn't wider than the man's thumb.