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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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IF YOU SPILL SALT, WILL HAVE A FIGHT UNLESS SALT IS
THROWN OVER SHOULDER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Conversions

Date learned: 02-28-1970

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IF YOU KNOCK OVER A SALT CELLAR, YOU WILL HAVE A
FIGHT WITH THE PERSON IT POINTS TO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 02-20-1970

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WHEN YOU SPILL SALT IT MEANS YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE
A FIGHT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
Food Drink -- Flavoring
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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SPILL SALT AND YOU WON'T SHED ENOUGH TEARS TO
DISSOLVE IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 02-07-1970

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IRISH TRICKERY

THROW SALT OVER YOUR LEFT SHOULDER IN CASE OR IF YOU FEEL
SOMEONE IS IN BACK OF YOU WITH A KNIFE AND TRY TO HARM YOU.
IF YOU FEEL THAT THE PERSON IN BACK OF YOU WILL HARM YOU, BY
ANY MEANS THAT THEY CAN, THEN DO THIS ALSO.
THIS WILL SCARE THEM OFF.

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS LEARNED DURING HIS LATE ADOLESCENT STAGE IN HIS
HOME TOWN.
THIS SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF IS SYMPATHETIC MAGIC BECAUSE IT INVOLES
A SAFETY PRECAUTION OF DANGER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): INVOLVES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00001930S

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NO-SPILL-SALT

IF YOU SPILL SALT YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK UNLESS YOU DO THIS,
TAKE A HAND FULL OF SALT AND THROW IT OVER YOUR LEFT SHOULDER.
THIS WILL REVERSE THE BAD LUCK AND GIVE YOU GOOD LUCK.

Submitter comment: SHE LEARNED THIS FOLKLORE FROM HER CHILDHOOD DAYS OF HER HOME TOWN.
THIS SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF IS SYMPATHETIC MAGIC BECAUSE THERE IS A
PRIMITIVE CONNECTION BETWEEN SPILLING AND THE THROWING THE SALT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION ; RIGHT LEFT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.17

Date learned: 00001930'S

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SALT

WHEN YOU SPILL SALT, THROW SOME OVER YOUR LEFT SHOULDER TO
FRIGHTEN THE DEVIL AND EVIL SPIRITS AWAY. SPILLED SALT ALSO MEANS
TEARS ARE COMING, SO THROW SOME IN THE FIRE TO DRY THE TEARS UP
BEFORE THEY COME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 02-00-1974

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LUCK

NEVER WASTE SALT ON THE FLOOR. IT CAUSES BAD LUCK.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; UNICE

James Callow Keyword(s): SPILL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.17

Date learned: CA11001973

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LUCK

IF YOU SPILL SALT YOU SHOULD THROW SOME SALT OVER YOUR LEFT
SHOULDER TO WARD OFF BAD LUCK.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.17

Date learned: CA11001973

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BIRTH

IGNORANT SOUTHERNERS FEED EXPECTANT MOTHERS CLAY TO AID IN THE
BIRTH OF THEIR CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PICA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 09-00-1973

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THROWING SALT OVER YOUR SHOULDER BREAKS ANY BAD LUCK THAT YOU HAVE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.17
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 11-00-1972

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THEY SAY IF YOU THROW BLESSED SALT ON A FIRE, IT WILL NOT SPREAD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fire
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 11-00-1972

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A TRADITION ON VISITING A NEW HOME IS TO BRING A LOAF OF BREAD SO
THEY WON'T GO HUNGRY, A BOTTLE OF WINE SO THEY WON'T GO THIRSTY, AND
SOME SALT FOR GOOD LUCK.

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
Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
Food Drink -- Alcoholic beverage
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.17

Date learned: 11-00-1972

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BAD LUCK

OPAL STONES ARE BAD LUCK AND SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN TO A FRIEND OR LOVER
IN A PIECE OF JEWELRY.

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.1

Date learned: 10-11-1972

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BAD LUCK

IF YOU'VE SEEN A BLACK CAT OR BROKEN A MIRROR, THROW SOME SALT
OVER YOUR LEFT SHOULDER TO PREVENT THE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.14
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.17
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.31

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IF SOMEONE SPILLS SALT; THAT MEANS SOMEBODY IS GOING TO FIGHT.

Submitter comment: I FIND THAT MOST BLACK PEOPLE CAN TELL THIS ONE.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 12-00-1972

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WHEN YOU BORROW SALT DO NOT RETURN IT , YOU WILL BRING BAD
LUCK ON THE PERSON WHO LENT IT TO YOU.

Where learned: OHIO ; LUCAS COUNTY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.17

Date learned: 10-03-1972

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SALT

WHEN YOU MOVE INTO A NEW HOME, DON'T BRING YOUR SALT WITH YOU, YOU'LL
BE BRINGING YOUR TROUBLES ALONG WITH IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 686.1
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 10-15-1972

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SALT

DURING A BAD STORM, THROWING A HANDFUL OF SALT OUTSIDE BREAKS THE
STORM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS ; GEORGIAN EAST ; NURSING HOME

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Mineral

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