The other day I was waiting in line and heard the guy in front on me use about 4 idioms. One that stuck out in my head was "if you run with a dog you'll get fleas." I had always heard the saying "If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas." Which I guess is close enough. This got me thinking about where these old sayings came from.
A while back I was riding in the car with my coworker and she pointed out this house. I thought it was gorgeous. She said its the poor house. HUH?!?!? The poor house is a real thing? Apparently so. This house is no longer the poor house, but at one time it was used to house people who couldn't provide for themselves (or who were caught begging in public)
Going along with the theme of poor....
If you relied on selling your urine to the tanneries for a living, you were considered piss poor. If you didn't have a pot to collect your urine in to sell, you didn't have a pot to piss in. My mom use to add to the or a window to throw it out of. No clue where that came from.