phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: 'Old Betty's joints'

Posted by R. Berg on June 21, 2004

In Reply to: Re: 'Old Betty's joints are on the rack' posted by ESC 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.

Old Betty could have been anyone named Elizabeth who had arthritis.