vocabulary snippets

Ever wondered where this term comes from?

Shambles

Generally meaning a complete mess and specifically the place where animals are slaughtered, shambles originated in towns with overhanging shelves on the outside of buildings, where butchers hung their meat. The literal meaning is ‘flesh-shelves’. There are many streets in old English towns named The Shambles because they were the homes of the butchers. In those areas there would, at times, be blood and guts running in the street as a result of their work.