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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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HUNGARIAN SUPERSTITION

NEVER STEP OVER A PERSON WHEN HE IS LYING IN BED OR IT WILL BRING
HIM GREAT DANGER.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER HUNGARIAN FATHER.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 12-22-1963

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BELIEF

IF YOU FORGET TO WASH THE TEAPOT OR COFFEEPOT AFTER YOU HAVE
COMPANY, IT MEANS THOSE GUESTS WILL RETURN AGAIN.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THIS BELIEF FROM MY MOTHER WHO MENTIONED IT ABOUT
FIVE YEARS AGO WHEN WE FORGOT TO WASH A TEAPOT. SHE LEARNED IT
FROM HER GRANDMOTHER WHO WAS IRISH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

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JAMAICAN SUPERSTITION

NEVER TRY TO CUT A DRESS OUT ON A FRIDAY OR IT WON'T TURN OUT.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM A LADY-FRIEND FROM JAMAICA.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

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ITALIAN AND FRENCH SUPERSTITION: BREAD AND LUCK

ALWAYS HAVE THE CRUST OF THE BREAD FACING UP ON THE TABLE OR YOU
WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: LEARNED WHILE TRAVELLING THROUGHOUT EUROPE 1959-1961.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 12-24-1963

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LADY

IN ANGLO-SAXON TIMES, THE PEOPLE WERE POOR, THE FAMILIES WERE VERY
LARGE, AND THE WORK LOAD WAS HEAVY, SO WHILE THE CHILDREN WERE
STILL IN THEIR PINAFORES, THEY WERE ALLOTTED VARIOUS CHORES. THE
BOYS, OF COURSE, WORKED IN THE FIELDS, PLOWING AND SEEDING AND
SEPARATING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF, WHILE THE HOUSEWORK WAS LEFT
TO THE GIRLS. THEY WERE TAUGHT TO KNIT AND PURL. SOME DID THE
MILKING, OTHERS THE SPINNING, BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT TASK WAS LEFT
TO THE HOUSEWIFE HERSELF, THAT OF BAKING THE DAILY BREAD SO THAT
THE FAMILY COULD BE FED. SHE WAS CALLED THE BREAD KNEADER OR,
IN ANGLO-SAXON, THE LAE-DIGE. CENTURIES LATER, SHE WAS CALLED
"LADY."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant husbandry Farming
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
Food Drink -- Plant food Cereal
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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DON'T SWEEP THE DIRT IN YOUR HOUSE OUTDOORS AFTER SUNDOWN,
YOU'LL SWEEP A MEMBER OUT OF THE FAMILY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 05-08-1972

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BROOMS

NEVER LEAVE A BROOM OUT IN THE OPEN BECAUSE IT IS AN OPEN
INVITATION TO WITCHES.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN ;

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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PROVERB

THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GARDEN CITY

Keyword(s): ECONOMICS

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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KITCHEN BELIEF

PUT UTENSILS IN A WARM OVEN FOR A FEW MINUTES AFTER YOU
HAVE WASHED AND DRIED;, THIS KEEPS THEM FROM RUSTING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE PARK

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE ; FUNCTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home

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BELIEF

PUT NAIL POLISH IN THE ICEBOX, IT KEEPS THE POLISH FROM GETTING
THICK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE ; FUNCTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: 01-20-1971

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BELIEF

A WAD OF COTTON ON THE FRONT DOOR WILL KEEP FLIES AWAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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HOME BELIEF

IF SOMEONE ENTERS YOUR FRONT DOOR, IT IS BAD LUCK FOR THEM
TO EXIT YOUR BACK DOOR.

Submitter comment: LEARNED IN CHILDHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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HOME BELIEF

A LEMON CUT OPEN IN AN ICEBOX IS SUPPOSED TO KEEP IT SMELLING
FRESH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE ; FUNCTION

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: 04-00-1971

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SUPERSTITION

DO NOT SWEEP FLOORS AFTER THE LIGHTS ARE LIT IN THE HOME.
THIS WOULD MEAN SWEEPING HEALTH AND WEALTH FOR THE FAMILY OUT.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; WESTCHESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): BROOM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- P87O
BELIEF -- Bad luck

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BED BELIEF

LEAVE YOUR BEDS UNCOVERED IN THE MORNING FOR A WHILE
TO LEAVE THE IMPURE ELEMENTS THAT LEFT YOUR BODY DURING THE
NIGHT OUT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE ; FUNCTION ; SANITATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: 04-00-1968

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BELIEF

ONE GIRL ASKED A BOY TO MAKE HER A PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH.
HE MADE IT, BUT SHE SAID NOT TO CUT IT, LEST THE FLAVOR GO OUT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

James Callow Keyword(s): FOOD ; KNIFE

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Manner of preparation
Food Drink -- Plant food Nut
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: 09-26-1965

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ONE GIRL ASKS A BOY, 'MAKE ME A PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH.'
SO HE MADE IT. HE WAS ABOUT TO CUT IT WHEN THE GIRL SAID, ' DO
NOT CUT IT BECAUSE THAT WAY ALL THE FLAVOR GOES OUT.'

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

James Callow Keyword(s): KNIFE

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Manner of preparation
Food Drink -- Plant food Nut
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: 09-26-1965

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FOOD BELIEF

IF SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY IS AWAY, IF YOU SET A PLATE OF FOOD
FOR THEM THEY WILL RETURN DURING THE MEAL.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Service Table furnishing and decoration
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: 03-02-1972

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FAMILY SUPERSTITION-IRISH

IT WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED BY REASON OF SUPERSTITION TO BRING
GARBAGE OUT AFTER 6:00 P.M.

Submitter comment: MAYBE IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH CITY ORDINANCES
ABOUT BURNING AFTER 6:00 P.M. IT MAY THEN HAVE DEVELOPED
INTO A SUPERSTITION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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ANIMAL BELIEF

IF YOU ATE AN ANIMAL RAW, YOU COULD NEVER GET THE BLOOD OFF.

Where learned: ALABAMA

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Meat
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: UNKNOWN

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