A good rule of thumb is that a broker must generate sales of ten times his salary if his employer is to make a profit. As a rule of thumb , you should cook a chicken for 20 minutes for each pound that it weighs. As a general rule of thumb , children this age should not spend more than one hour on homework. As a rule of thumb , you should cook a chicken for 20 minutes for each pound of weight. In general, the rule of thumb was that one's peers were seconded to perform the role.
Why Do We Use the Rule of Thumb?
Rule of thumb in a sentence (esp. good sentence like quote, proverb)
The English phrase rule of thumb refers to a principle with broad application that is not intended to be strictly accurate or reliable for every situation. It refers to an easily learned and easily applied procedure or standard, based on practical experience rather than theory. This usage of the phrase can be traced back to the seventeenth century and has been associated with various trades where quantities were measured by comparison to the width or length of a thumb. A modern folk etymology holds that the phrase is derived from the maximum width of a stick allowed for wife-beating under English law, but no such law ever existed. This belief might have originated in a rumored statement by eighteenth-century judge Sir Francis Buller that a man may beat his wife with a stick no wider than his thumb. The rumor produced numerous jokes and satirical cartoons at Buller's expense, but there is no record that he made such a statement. English jurist Sir William Blackstone wrote in his Commentaries on the Laws of England of an "old law" that once allowed "moderate" beatings by husbands, but he did not mention thumbs or any specific implements.
'Rule Of Thumb' Origin And Meaning (It's Not Wife-Beating!)
A rule of thumb is a means of estimation made according to a rough and ready practical rule, not based on science or exact measurement. In the popular imagination, in England at least, the 'rule of thumb' has been said to derive from the belief that English law allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick so long as it is was no thicker than his thumb. That's not the case. Although it is true that English 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. Nevertheless, the myth refuses to die out.
Related to rule of thumb: Rule of thirds. All rights reserved. Copyright , , by Random House, Inc. Switch to new thesaurus.