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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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NEVER TAKE THE LAST PIECE OF ANYTHING ON A PLATE
OR YOU WILL BE AN OLD MAID.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Keyword(s): SPINSTER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Number Emptiness, nothingness, zero

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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YOUR DAUGHTERS WILL MARRY IF YOU KEEP PEACOCK
FEATHERS IN THE HOUSE. PERSON SEEMED SKEPTICAL,
BUT SAID A PEACOCK FAN WAS A PROMINENT ORNAMENT IN
THE ROOM SHE SHARED WITH AN OLDER SISTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship

Date learned: 03-14-1968

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YOUR DAUGHTERS WILL NOT MARRY IF PEACOCK FEATHERS ARE
KEPT IN THE HOME.

Submitter comment: INTERESTING CONTRADICTION, SINCE THIS PERSON WON'T
EVEN ALLOW A PET BIRD (EVEN CANARY OR PARAKEET) IN
HER HOME--SHE HAS FOUR DAUGHTERS.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship

Date learned: 03-20-1968

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IT IS BELIEVED THAT IF A GIRL GOES OVER A RAILROAD TRACK
IN A CAR WITHOUT LIFTING HER FEET, THEN SHE WILL NEVER
MARRY HER TRUE LOVE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship

Date learned: 03-00-1972

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IF A GIRL'S SLIP SHOWS IT MEANS SHE IS LOOKING FOR A
HUSBAND.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT IS COLLECTOR'S AUNT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship

Date learned: 11-26-1970

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TAKE TWO MATCHBOOKS AND PUT THEM ON TOP OF EACH OTHER.
MAKE SURE THEY ARE OPENED AND IF ONE FALLS, YOU HAVE A
LOW SEX LIFE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM ONE OF HER FRIENDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 02-20-1971

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YOU CAN TELL IF A PERSON IS A VIRGIN IF HE OR SHE
CAN PEEL OFF THE LABEL OF A BEER BOTTLE WITH HIS
THUMBNAIL IN A CONTINUOUS STROKE WHILE HOLDING IT
ONLY WITH THE HAND WITH THE THUMB DOING THE PEELING.

Submitter comment: I WAS ASKED TO PERFORM THIS WHILE AT A LOCAL TAVERN
IN LE ROY, NEW YORK.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; LE ROY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 07-00-1971

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IT IS SAID THAT IF A COED CAN HOLD ONTO A BEER BOTTLE
WITH ONE HAND AND TEAR THE LABEL DOWN THE MIDDLE
WITH ONE STROKE USING HER THUMB, SHE IS STILL A
VIRGIN.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THIS FROM FELLOW STUDENTS AT CENTRAL MICHIGAN
UNIVERSITY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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TO WARD OFF WITCHCRAFT, LEAVE AN OPEN PAIR OF
SCISSORS ON A TABLE.

Submitter comment: A GIRL FROM EL PASO, TEXAS TELLS THIS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ADRIAN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Use of Object Domestic object, wax, needle, dishware
BELIEF -- Control Prevention Provocation Protection P892.25

Date learned: 11-05-1967

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THE PERSON HAVING THEIR FORTUNE TOLD THINKS OF FOUR
PEOPLE THAT COULD BE INVOLVED IN THEIR FUTURE. THE
CARDS ARE EITHER FOUR KINGS OR FOUR QUEENS, DEPENDING
ON THE SEX OF THE PERSON HAVING THEIR FORTUNE TOLD.
EACH CARD REPRESENTS A PERSON, AND WHEN A QUESTION
IS ASKED AND ONE OF THE CARDS LAID DOWN MATCHES ONE
OF THE SUITS, THAT IS THE PERSON THAT WILL BE IN
THE FUTURE FOR THAT PARTICULAR QUESTION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Use of Object Numerology, related to playing cards

Date learned: 02-28-1971

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A FORTUNE TELLING GAME IS PLAYED BY A GIRL BY
PLACING THE FOUR KINGS FACE UP ON THE TABLE.
SHE THEN DESIGNATES EACH KING AS A "MAN IN HER
LIFE." THEN SHE ASKS A "WHO" QUESTION AND STARTS
DEALING THE CARDS LEFT TO RIGHT. THE QUESTION IS
ANSWERED WHEN THE SUITE DEALT MATCHES THE SUITE OF
THE KING IT WAS DEALT ONTO.
THIS SAME GAME CAN BE PLAYED BY A GUY BY USING THE
QUEENS INSTEAD OF THE KINGS.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT PLAYS THIS GAME CONSTANTLY IN NORTH
QUAD, UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT (DETROIT, MICHIGAN), ALONG WITH
OTHER GIRLS AND EVERYONE TENDS TO BELIEVE IN IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Use of Object Numerology, related to playing cards

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YOU CAN TELL FORTUNES BY USING A DECK OF CARDS,
AND TAKING OUT THE FOUR KINGS FOR GIRLS, THE FOUR
QUEENS FOR BOYS. YOU SET THE FOUR CARDS OUT AND CAN
PROCEED BYEITHER MAKING EACH CARD THE NAME OF A
PARTICULAR BOY OR BY MAKING ONE EACH A "YES"
"NO," "SOMETIMES," AND "MAYBE." ONE PERSON IS IN
CHARGE OF THE REMAINING CARDS, AND TELLS THE
FORTUNES BY MATCHING THE FIRST TWO CARDS THAT ARE
THE SAME (A CARD FROM THE DECK THAT MATCHES IN
SUITE WITH ONE OF THE FOUR CARDS WHICH IT IS LAID
ON). THAT KING OR QUEEN WHICH FINALLY GETS A
MATCHING SUITE CARD LAID ON IT IS THE ANSWER TO THE
QUESTION PREVIOUSLY ASKED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Use of Object Numerology, related to playing cards

Date learned: 03-26-1971

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THIS CUSTOM IS USUALLY ERFORMED AT UKRAINIAN PARTIES.
A BUCKET IS FILLED WITH WATER AND EACH GIRL GETS
TWO BURNT MATCHSTICKS APIECE. ONE AT A TIME, THEY
PUT THE MATCHSTICKS IN THE WATER SO THAT THEY FLOAT
ON THE TOP, ONE REPRESENTS THE GIRL AND THE OTHER
REPRESENTS HER BOYFRIEND. THEY LET THEM FLOAT FOR A
FEW MINUTES AND IF THEY MEET IN THE WATER AND TOUCH
EACH OTHER, IT MEANS THAT THE GIRL AND HER BOYFRIEND
HAVE A FUTURE TOGETHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 03-02-1971

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A YOUNG GIRL WOULD OFTEN THROW AN APPLE PEEL OVER HER SHOULDER
TO SEE IF IT WOULD FORM THE INITIAL OF AN ADMIRED YOUNG MAN.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; PULASKI

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 07-20-1968

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A YOUNG GIRL OFTEN THREW A PIECE OF DODDER (VINE) OVER HER
SHOULDER AND RETURNED IN A DAY OR SO TO SEE IF IT WAS
ROOTED AND GROWING. THIS WOULD DETERMINE HER SUITOR'S
TRUE LOVE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; PULASKI

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Use of Object Plant

Date learned: 07-20-1968

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MANY A LOVE-SICK MAIDEN HAS BENT THE MULLEIN STALK. IF IT
TURNS BACK UPWARD AND GROWS ON, SHE'S SURE HE DESIRES HER
HAND IN MARRIAGE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; PULASKI

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Use of Object Plant

Date learned: 07-20-1968

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COUPLES COURTING SHOULD NEVER HAVE THEIR PICTURES TAKEN
BEFORE THEY ARE MARRIED OR THEY WILL NOT GET MARRIED.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): Photography

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship

Date learned: 09-25-1973

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Entry filtered.

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

A good birth control device is a dime. You keep it between your legs, especially on a date and if you lose your virginity you can call your roomate.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P500] crossed out. Nothing written to replace it. Was located in a pile marked "To Be Classified."

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): DATING ; Modesty ; Sexuality

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Use of Object

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COURTSHIP BELIEF

IF YOUR SLIP IS HANGING, IT MEANS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A BOYFRIEND.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT DIDN'T REMEMBER SOURCE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Boyfriend ; COURTSHIP ; Fashion ; Female ; Girl ; Mate ; SIGN ; Single ; SLIP ; SYMBOL ; Woman

Subject headings: Custom
BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship

Date learned: 06-29-1964

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SUPERSTITION

WHEN GOING BY A CEMETERY, YOU SHOULD PUT YOUR HANDS
ON THE TOP OF THE CAR, OR YOU WILL NEVER MARRY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Car ; CEMETERY ; Grave ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; POSITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 03-26-1971

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