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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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OFFICIAL REQUEST

THERE WAS ONCE A MAN AND A WOMAN WHO HAD TWELVE SONS, AND THE
THIRTEENTH WAS ON THE WAY. THE FIRST TWELVE HAD BEEN NAMED
AFTER THE APOSTLES AND THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THE NAME FOR THIS
ONE WOULD BE. BY THE TIME HE ARRIVED THEY HAD DECIDED TO NAME
HIM CHRIST--CHRIST MURPHY.
AFTER A FEW YEARS CHRIST MURPHY STARTED TO SCHOOL. ONE DAY
IN SECOND GRADE THE BISHOP WAS VISITING. HE SAID TO THE TEACHER,
"SISTER, I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR ONE OF YOUR PEOPLE SING. HOW ABOUT
THAT LITTLE BOY THERE," POINTING OUT LITTLE MURPHY.
"CHRIST MURPHY CAN'T SING," SHE PROTESTED.
"WELL, GODAMMIT, HE CAN TRY, CAN'T HE?"

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT HAS NO RECORD OF WHERE HE FIRST HEARD THE JOKE.

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; WOODSTOCK

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ordinary Tale
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

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CHRIST JOKE

DO YOU KNOW HOW CHRIST RECEIVED HIS NAME? WELL, WAY BACK WHEN,
THESE THREE GUYS CAME TO VISIT THE BABE WHO, AS YOU KNOW, WAS
BORN IN THIS OLD CAVE. NOW THIS CAVE WAS VERY, VERY LOW AND ONE
OF THESE THREE GUYS WAS EXTREMELY TALL. AFTER KNEELING FOR A
LONG TIME BEFORE THE BABE, THE TALL ONE, FORGETTING THE KIND OF
PLACE HE WAS IN, ROSE QUICKLY AND BANGED HIS HEAD. "JESUS
CHRIST!" SHOUTS HE. AND MARY TURNS TO JOSEPH, UPON HEARING THIS,
AND SAYS, "GEE, JOSEPH, THAT WOULD BE A BETTER NAME THAN
ARCHIBALD."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WYANDOTTE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

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I HAVE HEARD OF A CUSTOM AND KNOW OF ONE FAMILY THAT FOLLOWS IT.
THE YOUNGEST CHILD PICKS THE NAME OF THE NEXT ONE.A NEWBORN CHILD
IS NAMED BY THE NEXT OLDEST BROTHER OR SISTER.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 10-07-1972

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WHO BECOMES A VAMPIRE

UNBAPTISED PEOPLE BURIED IN UNHALLOWED GROUND WILL BECOME VAMPIRES.

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): TRANSFORMATION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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NAMING A CHILD

IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE CUSTOM IN OUR FAMILY TO GIVE THE NEW-BORN
CHILD HIS GOD-PARENTS FIRST NAME FOR HIS MIDDLE NAME.

Submitter comment: THIS CUSTOM IS STILL CARRIED OUT IN OUR FAMILY.

Where learned: OHIO ; MOGADORE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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TAPE OF MISCELLANOUS INFORMATION

INVENTORY OF TAPE;NIGERIAN FUNERALS,NAMING CEREMONY, WEDDINGS,
CARE OF TEETH, PARTIES FOR I6-AND 2!-YEAR-OLDS,CONFIRMATION
EATING CUSTOMS, BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDES OF NIGERIANS BACK FROM ABROAD,
CELEBRATION OF APRIL FOOLS BEFORE NOON

Where learned: NIGERIA ; POSSIBLY SOMETHING ABOUT IRELAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Maturity
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Private birthday or anniversary
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
SPEECH -- Gesture

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FRENCH WORKING CUSTOM

IN FRANCE EVERY MAN HAS HIS OWN JOB ( NO MATTER HOW INSIGNIFICANT)
THAT HE PERFORMS. THIS DATES BACK TO THE COURT DAYS WHEN THE
ROYALTY EMPLOYED MANY WORKERS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE KING WOULD HAVE
ONE MAN PUT ON HIS SOCKS AND ANOTHER PUT ON HIS SHOES, ETC.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): EMPLOYMENT ROYALTY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 03-20-1968

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PRACTICE

A LAY PERSON CAN BAPTIZE A BABY WITH REGULAR WATER AND MAKING THE
SIGN OF THE CROSS BEFORE THE ACTUAL BAPTISM BY A PRIEST TO PROTECT
THE CHILD FROM EVIL. ALSO A LAY PERSON CAN ADMINISTER BAPTISM TO
A PERSON WHO IS DYING AND HAS NEVER BEEN BAPTIZED BEFORE IF A
PRIEST CANNOT GET THERE IN TIME. REGULAR WATER OR EVEN A PERSON,S
SPIT CAN BE USED IF HOLY WATER IS UNATTAINABLE. SINCERITY OF THE
PERSON IS THE IMPORTANT FACTOR IN THIS ACTION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 11-00-1977

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POLISH BAPTISMAL CUSTOM

IT IS CUSTOMARY AMONG SOME POLISH PEOPLE TO FASHION A BAPTISMAL
DRESS FOR A FIRST BORN CHILD FROM THE WEDDING VEIL OF THE MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress

Date learned: 02-00-1979

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FROM WEDDINGS TO CHRISTENINGS

IN THE EVENT OF A SON MARRYING IN THE FAMILY, THE GROOMS MOTHER
GIVES THE BRIDE A WHITE LINEN HANDKERCHIEF TO CARRY AT HER
WEDDING. AFTER THE WEDDING IS OVER, THE BRIDE GIVES IT BACK TO
HER MOTHER-IN-LAW. IT IS THEN CLEANED AND PRESSED . IN THE EVENT
OF THE FIRST CHILD BORN TO THE COUPLE, THE HANDKERCHIEF IS FOLDED
INTO A BABYS BONNET AND WORN AT THE CHRISTENING.
AFTER THIS IS OVER, THE BONNET IS PUT AWAY UNTIL HE OR SHE GETS
MARRIED AND IT IS UNFOLDED AND PASSED TO THE NEXT GENERATION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LIVONIA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: CA02001980

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NAMING OF CHILDREN

IN MOST GREEK FAMILIES, THE FIRST BORN CHILD IS NAMED
AFTER THE FATHER'S PARENTS, DEPENDING ON IF IT IS A
BOY OR A GIRL. CHILDREN BORN AFTER THE FIRST CHILD
WILL BE NAMED AFTER ITS REMAINING GRANDPARENTS. IF THE
PARENTS HAVE MORE THAN FOUR CHILDREN, THEN THEY WILL BE
NAMED AFTER UNCLES AND AUNTS.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A TRADITION THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON IN GREEK
FAMILIES FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. IT HAS BEEN PASSED
ON FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION, AND IT WILL
CONTINUE IN THE YEARS TO COME.
THIS IS A GREEK-AMERICAN CUSTOM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Sterling Heights

Subject headings: Person / Nickname
686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: CA00001962

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BAPTISM

WHEN CHILDREN ARE BAPTIZED IN THE GREEK CHURCH,
THEY ARE SUBMERGED IN THE BAPTISMAL FONT THREE TIMES.

Submitter comment: THIS ACTION REPRESENTS THE HOLY TRINITY: FATHER,
SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT. THE BABY, A YEAR OLD MAXIMUM,
IS NOW CONSIDERED PART OF THE GREEK CHURCH.
THIS IS A GREEK-AMERICAN CUSTOM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: CA00001965

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PRACTICAL JOKE AND PRANK

INCOMING FRESHMEN AT CABRINI HIGH SCHOOL (ALLEN PARK, MI.)
ARE THE BUTT
OF MANY PRACTICAL JOKES. ON THEIR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, SENIORS
HAVE THEM BUY ELEVATOR PASSES FOR FIVE DOLLARS. THEY EXPLAIN THAT
ONLY A CHOICE FEW ARE ISSUED THEM. HOWEVER, CABRINI DOES NOT HAVE
AN ELEVATOR AND THE FRESHMEN SOON DISCOVER THAT THEY WERE DUPED.
ANOTHER JOKE IS TO BAPTISE THE FRESHMEN BY PLACING THEIR HEADS
UNDERNEATH A RUNNING FAUCET.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT HEARD OF THESE ACADEME CUSTOMS IN 1970 AT CABRINI
HIGH SCHOOL. THEY ARE A TYPE OF INITIATION RITE OR RITE OF
PASSAGE OF FRESHMEN STUDENTS FROM GRADE SCHOOL TO HIGH SCHOOL.
ALTHOUGH HARMLESS, THEY COULD OFTEN CAUSE HARD FEELINGS. PERHAPS
THE TERM "BAPTISING" ENTERS SINCE CABRINI IS A CATHOLIC SCHOOL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Initiation rite Hazing
BELIEF -- School

Date learned: 10-00-1980 ; 00-00-1970

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HOLY WATER--BAPTISM

AFTER A BABY'S BAPTISM, WASH HIS BAPTISMAL CLOTHES
BY HAND. KEEP THE WATER USED FOR WASHING THE CLOTHES
AND SPRINKLE IT OVER A FLOWER BED. THE WATER WILL
MAKE THE FLOWERS GROW.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID THAT THIS WAS A CUSTOM USED BY HER
SISTER. HER SISTER BELIEVED THAT THE HOLY WATER
SHOULD BE RETURNED TO GOD'S EARTH AND NOT THE SEWER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LIVONIA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 03-11-1972

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BELIEF IN ITALY

A HUSBAND SHOULD BE FROM YOUR OWN TOWN OR YOUR OWN
PEOPLE, BUT A BAPTISMAL SPONSOR (GODPARENTS) SHOULD
COME FROM OUTSIDE YOUR TOWN, OR ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING
IT, FROM STRANGE PEOPLE (MEANING NOT OF YOUR FAMILY
RATHER THAN NOT KNOWN BY YOU).

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Crucial Moment of Life Life Cycle
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: 10-26-1969

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ON CHRISTENING DAY, FRIENDS WHO VISITED THE PARENTS
AND THE NEW BABY WOULD ALWAYS BRING A SMALL BAG OF
CANDY WITH OTHER GIFTS SO THAT THE BABY WOULD
HAVE A SWEET LIFE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT REMEMBERS THIS CUSTOM FROM CHILDHOOD IN
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN AMONG FAMILIES OF GERMAN DESCENT.
SHE SAYS THERE IS A LITTLE VERSE WHICH ACCOMPANIES
THE TRADITION, BUT SHE COULD NOT RECALL IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

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NAMING

ALL THE MALE CHILDREN IN THE FAMILY HAVE THEIR
FATHER'S NAME AS MIDDLE NAME.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER MOTHER; LEBANESE CUSTOM; CUSTOM
STILL CARRIED ON IN HER FAMILY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 04-15-1967

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NAMES

IN THE SOUTH, THE CHILD IS NAMED AFTER THE DOCTOR.

Submitter comment: HER UNCLE TOLD HER THIS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 10-24-1967

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NAMING CUSTOM

GREEK FAMILIES CELEBRATE NAME DAYS RATHER THAN
BIRTHDAYS. THE FIRST CHILD IS NAMED AFTER THE
FATHER'S MOTHER OR FATHER; THE SECOND IS NAMED
AFTER THE MOTHER'S PARENTS; THE THIRD AFTER THE
FATHER'S GRANDPARENTS; THE FOURTH AFTER THE MOTHER'S
GRANDPARENTS, ETC.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 01-30-1967

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ITALIAN FAMILIES NAME THE FIRST SON AFTER THE FATHER'S
FATHER; THE SECOND SON AFTER THE MOTHER'S FATHER.
THE FIRST DAUGHTER IS NAMED AFTER THE MOTHER'S MOTHER;
AND THE SECOND AFTER THE FATHER'S MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 03-03-1967

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