We all know what eavesdropping means, but have you ever wondered what listening-in has to do with eaves or dropping? It’s always given me a mental image of someone up in the eaves trying to conceal themselves.
The actual origin isn’t quite as funny as that, but I thought it was pretty interesting.
Originally the eavesdrop (Old English yfesdrype) was the area outside a house where water ran off the eaves. So probably not where you want to stand when it’s raining, but apparently where you could stand to try and hear what being said inside the house.
I like this because both because it’s a lovely image of life before the invention of the downpipe and a disturbing image of how thin walls were!