I love this word. A tussie mussie is a small bunch of flowers, a posy, typically given as a gift. It was originally the name used for the small bunches of flowers people carried in medieval times to mask the smells around them.
For hundreds of years flowers have had meanings attached but this became very popular in Victorian times and they used tussie mussies to discreetly convey messages. We still recognize some of the meanings used such as; a red rose for love, a poppy for consolation, a yellow rose for friendship and rosemary for remembrance.
A bride carries a tussie mussie on her wedding day although now we use the term bouquet. The tradition of a bride carrying flowers down the aisle began in order to mask any bad body odours in a time when bathing was a quite rare occurrence (although maybe they should have just had a wash). It was also carried to help drive away evil spirits.
Evil spirits are also the reason why the tradition of bridesmaids began. They dressed similarly to the bride, as did the men attending the groom, in order to confuse any malevolent spirits that might be lurking as to who was getting married.
Funny how traditions stay with us even though we don’t remember their origins. If you are yet to be married just remember when you walk down the aisle your flowers better smell more strongly than you do and that you are surrounded by evil spirits. If you are lucky they will latch on to one of your best friends instead of you. Maybe the new tradition should be to use people you don’t really like in your wedding party and dress the most annoying one in the prettiest dress…