It seems that Buller was hard done by. He was notoriously harsh in his punishments and had a reputation for arrogance, but there's no evidence that he ever made the ruling that he is infamous for. Edward Foss, in his authoritative work The Judges of England, 1870, wrote that, despite a searching investigation, "no substantial evidence has been found that he ever expressed so ungallant an opinion".It should be noted that the freaking brits carry the meaning as
It's certainly the case that, although British common law once held that it was legal for a man to chastise his wife in moderation (whatever that meant), the 'rule of thumb' has never been the law in England.
Even if people mistakenly supposed the law to exist, there's no reason to believe that anyone ever called it the 'rule of thumb'. Despite the phrase being in common use since the 17th century and appearing many thousands of times in print, there are no printed records that associate it with domestic violence until the 1970s, when the notion was castigated by feminists. The responses that circulated then, which assumed the wife-beating law to be true, may have been influenced by Gillray's cartoon or were possibly a reaction to The Rolling Stones' song 'Under My Thumb', which was recorded in 1966.
[ cf Rule of thumb ]
A means of estimation made according to a rough and ready practical rule, not based on science or exact measurement.and that we are now in a complicated place, where we need to understand how meme's start and bloat.
I mean, what next, the loss of 'pi mal daumen' latin for "PI times thumb".
I should confess as a fencer I find the following bit interesting:
The phrase itself has been in circulation since the 1600s. In 1692, it appeared in print in Sir William Hope's training manual for aspiring swordsmen, The Compleat Fencing-master:Since this deals with the various problems of thumb position and the various ways of making estimations and approximations, that are, well, less than the way of the Italian Masters and their various fetishes..."What he doth, he doth by rule of Thumb, and not by Art."The origin of the phrase remains unknown.
( op cit )
But I think we should all be pleased with The 'rule of leg' never caught on. although there is more than one meaning in the double entendre for 'leg over'....
I should likewise be noted that the wiki in Rule of Thumb also gives the origins to the fencing theory.
This of course now leads to the problem of what to do with those who's sense of linguistics is driven by an ideological set of issues that are free standing from the flow of history? And more importantly the problem that amongst some there is the problem of how to deal with the question and issues of the use of violence, in the first whine, against women, and for those of us who are professionals, against all persons and species. I can understand that there may have been some ideological importance in the seventies to a form of mock sorority girl feminism to opt in on an ideological posture. But should that be maintained? Or should we instead opt out of wars on rules of thumb gambits, in favor of dealing with the issues directly.
Violence is not good, period. That there can be and are clear distinctions that can and should be made with regards to the use of force, and when that use of force has issues with being over the edge and hence a matter of violence.