phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: 'Old Betty's joints are on the rack'

Posted by ESC on June 20, 2004

In Reply to: Rhyme foretelling rain: 'Old Betty's joints are on the rack' posted by Magnus on June 20, 2004

: Rhyme foretelling rain: 'Old Betty's joints are on the rack';

: this is from a poem by Dr. Edward Jenner (1749-1823) who by the way discovered the smallpox vaccine; the poem is called 'Signs of rain' and the text goes like this

: 'Hard how the chairs and tables crack!
: Old Betty's joints are on the rack;
: Her corns with shooting pains torment her,
: And to her bed untimely send her.

: I'm not sure about the line
: Old Betty's joints are on the rack
: Is it an Irish or English rhyme foretelling rain and if so what's the origin and who was Old Betty?

: Thanks to ESC for contribution on whistles.

An old person's joints sometimes ache when bad weather is coming. I can tell you that from experience.