It is common to hear the phrase “rule of thumb” when someone is discussing rules or regulations. Have you ever wondered about the origin of the phrase? I wish I could say it came from a children’s fable or that a famous person uttered it long ago, but unfortunately the phrase’s beginning is not as pleasant. The saying emerged around the Civil War when it was legal, and socially acceptable, for a husband to beat his wife. The only stipulation was the instrument used could not be thicker than the thumb. Thus the saying “rule of thumb” found it’s way into our everyday language.