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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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PREGNANCY

IF A WOMAN IS PREGNANT SHE MUST EAT FOR TWO SO THAT SHE CAN
NOURISH BOTH HERSELF AND THE BABY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight

Date learned: 03-20-1967

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WHEN A CASKET IS CARRIED DOWN THE STEPS OF A CHURCH
ON ITS WAY TO THE GRAVEYARD, IT BECOMES CONSIDERABLY
LIGHTER. IT IS SAID THAT THIS IS BECAUSE THE
PERSON'S SOUL IS LEAVING THE BODY ON ITS WAY TO
HEAVEN.

Submitter comment: THIS SUPERSTITION HAS BEEN PASSED DOWN THROUGH OUR
FAMILY FOR GENERATIONS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: Observation
Favorites
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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MAY YOU BE IN HEAVEN ( ) HOURS BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU ARE DEAD.
NUMBER OF HOURS SPECIFIED DEPENDS ON HOW GOOD THE FRIEND IS

Submitter comment: THIS WAS ORIGINALLY LEARNED IN WATERTOWN, NEW YORK

Where learned: NEW YORK ; WATERTOWN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 00-00-1956

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WHEN I WAS A CHILD, MY FATHER USED TO TELL ME THAT I SHOULD
ALWAYS BE HONEST, DO GOOD THINGS, AND BE NICE TO PEOPLE. HE
SAID THAT GOD KNEW EVERYTHING WE DID. HE SAID THERE WAS A LITTLE
ANGEL SITTING ON EACH OF OUR SHOULDERS AND THAT EVERY TIME WE DID
SOMETHING GOOD, THE ANGEL ON THE RIGHT SHOULDER WOULD WRITE IT
DOWN. ON THE OTHER HAND, WHEN WE DID SOMETHING BAD, THE ANGEL ON THE
LEFT SHOULDER WOULD RECORD IT. HE SAID THAT WHEN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT
CAME, GOD WOULD CHECK TO SEE WHICH LIST WAS LONGER. IT WASN'T
ENOUGH TO JUST TRY NOT TO BE BAD BECAUSE THE ANGEL ON THE RIGHT
SHOULDER ONLY WROTE DOWN GOOD DEEDS--NOT NO DEEDS AT ALL.

Submitter comment: MY FATHER WAS RAISED IN LEBANON. HE CAME TO THE UNITED STATES
IN 1929 WHEN HE WAS 20 YEARS OLD AND LIVED HERE UNTIL HIS DEATH
IN 1982.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): LEFT ; RIGHT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Gods
BELIEF -- Angel
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight

Date learned: 00001950S

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THE BAKER'S DOZEN

THE BAKER'S DOZEN IS THE QUANTITY OF THIRTEEN. THIS CAME ABOUT
BECAUSE THE BAKER WAS ALWAYS ACCUSSED OF SHORT CHANGING THEIR
CUSTOMERS. WHAT WAS ACTUALLY HAPPENING WAS THE LITTLE BOY THAT
WAS PICKING UP THE BAKED GOODS FOR HIS MOTHER WAS EATING ONE
OF THE TREATS ON THE WAY HOME FROM THE BAKERY. SO TO AVOID
THIS PROBLEM THE BAKER CREATED THE BAKER'S DOZEN SO THAT
HIS CUSTOMERS WOULD NOT THINK THAT HE IS SHORT CHANGING THEM
AND ALSO SO THAT THE MESSENGER WOULD HAVE A TREAT FOR THE
TRIP HOME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight

Date learned: 00001973CA

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YOU CAN TELL A LADYBUG'S AGE BY THE NUMBER OF SPOTS
ON HER BACK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BEETLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF YOU WISH ON A FULL MOON, YOUR WISH WILL COME TRUE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 00-00-1969

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BELIEF-PROVERB

GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; GREENEVILLE ; GEORGE PEABODY COLLEGE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 02-24-1969

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A MOTHER SHOULD COUNT THE BLACK BALLS OF FIBER IN THE
CORD TO DETERMINE HOW MANY MORE CHILDREN SHE WILL HAVE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Black ; COLOR ; Fiber ; NUMBER ; Offspring ; PREGNANCY ; UMBILICAL CORD

James Callow Keyword(s): UMBILICAL CORD

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 08-20-1973

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AN EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF SPICED OR VERY HOT (HIGHLY
SEASONED WITH PEPPER) FOODS WILL BLIND THE UNBORN BABY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; Consume ; Consumption ; Eat ; FOOD ; Newborn ; Pepper ; PREGNANCY ; Spicy ; TRANSFERENCE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 08-20-1973

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WIND IN THE WEST,
FISH BITE THE BEST
WIND IN THE EAST,
THEY'LL BITE THE LEAST.

Where learned: TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; MADISON

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION FREQUENCY

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief C860.448
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight

Date learned: 07-10-1973

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IF A BLACK CAT WALKS IN FRONT OF YOU, YOU HAVE TO WALK
BACK HOW OLD YOU ARE, IN OTHER WORDS IF YOU ARE ELEVEN
YOU MUST WALK BACK ELEVEN PACES.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): AGE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals
BELIEF -- Conversions Activities

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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TO FIND OUT HOW MANY CHILDREN YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE THREAD
A NEED(LE), THEN STICK THE POINT OF THE NEEDLE THRU THE
ERASER OF A PENCIL 'TIL IT TOUCHES THE LEAD. THEN, HOLDING
THE WHOLE THING BY THE STRING, DROP THE NEEDLE OVER YOUR
WRIST. BE SURE THAT YOU DON'T HAVE ANY JEWELRY ON THAT
HAND OR ARM. WHEN THE NEEDLE DROPS, IT WILL CIRCLE AROUND
THE WRIST. FOR EVERYTIME IT STOPS GOING IN THE CIRCLE TO
SWING UP AND DOWN YOU WILL HAVE A BOY. FOR EVERYTIME IT
STOPS TO GO SIDEWAYS YOU WILL HAVE A GIRL. EACH TIME IT
STOPS, ADD UP THE TOTAL AND YOU'LL KNOW HOW MANY CHILDREN
YOU'LL HAVE AND WHICH ARE GIRLS AND WHICH ARE BOYS.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): ANAPEL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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THE CLOSER TO THE TOP OF THE STAIRS ONE TRIPS UP, THE
SOONER HE OR SHE WILL MARRY.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight

Date learned: 07-04-1973

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showing 14 items

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