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IF YOU ARE SWEPT ACROSS THE FEET BY A BROOM, THAT'S
A SIGN THAT YOU WILL GO TO JAIL UNLESS YOU SPIT
ON THE BROOM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Use of Object Domestic object, wax, needle, dishware
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE SIX WHITE BOOMERS

IN AUSTRALIA, CHRISTMAS COMES DURING THE HOT SUMMER (IT'S
USUALLY ABOUT 120 DEGREES IN THE SHADE AND THERE'S NO SHADE IN
AUSTRALIA), SO SANTA CAN'T PULL HIS SLEIGH AROUND BECAUSE THERE'S NO
SNOW. SO HE GET'S A TEAM OF OLD-MAN KANGAROOS AND THEY'RE CALLED THE
SIX WHITE BOOMERS BECAUSE OF THE SOUND THEY MAKE AS THEY'RE PULLING
HIM AROUND. BOOM BOOM BOOM THAT'S WHY THEY CALL THEM THE SIX WHITE
BOOMERS.

Submitter comment: HANDS ARE SLAPPED ON ARMS OF CHAIR TO EMPHASIZE BOOMS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Santa Claus
BELIEF -- Mammal
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 11-00-1974

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WHAT A BURN

THIS GESTURE IS MADE BY HOLDING THE HAND OUT STRAIGHT. NOW MOVE THE
PINKIE, RING, AND MIDDLE FINGERS JUST ENOUGH SO THE THUMB CAN TOUCH
THEM. THE INDEX FINGER IS LEFT LOOSE. THE HAND IS NOW VIGOROUSLY
SHAKEN SO THAT THE LIMP INDEX FINGER HITS THE OTHER FINGERS. IF
DONE RIGHT, IT PRODUCES A SNAPPING NOISE. THIS MEANS "WHAT A BURN,"
OR IN OTHER WORDS, "HA HA ON YOU"

Submitter comment: I HAVE ONLY SEEN THIS GESTURE TAKE PLACE IN CALIFORNIA.

Where learned: CALIFORNIA ; PLACENTIA

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA00001966

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GOOD GOING

THE HAND IS MADE INTO A FIST WITH THE THUMB STICKING UP. MOVE THE
THUMB UP AND DOWN. IT MEANS: GOOD GOING, EVERYTHING IS FINE.

Where learned: CALIFORNIA ; PLACENTIA

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA00001974

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BIG WHOOP

THE INDEX FINGER IS REVOLVED WHILE HOLDING THE HAND UPRIGHT. IT
MEANS "SO WHAT, DO I CARE?"

Where learned: CALIFORNIA ; PLACENTIA

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA00001970

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WATERMELON CHEER

THERE IS A NARRATOR. HE STARTS OUT BY SAYING "HERE IS A WATERMELON."
EVERYONE PRETENDS THEY ARE HOLDING A WATERMELON. NARRATOR: "SLICE
IT IN HALF." EVERYONE PRETENDS THEY ARE SLICING IT IN HALF LENGTHWISE
WHILE MAKING A SLICING NOISE. NARRATOR: "EAT IT." EVERYONE PRETENDS
THEY ARE EATING IT, MAKING CHOMPING NOISES. NARRATOR: "SPIT OUT
THE SEEDS." EVERYONE TURNS TO THE SIDE OF THEM AND SPITS OUT THE
SEEDS, MAKING A SPITTING OUT NOISE.

Submitter comment: I WATCHED THIS CHEER BEING DONE AT A CAMPFIRE. AFTER A SONG WAS SUNG,
EVERYONE WOULD DO A CHEER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; GATLINBURG

James Callow Keyword(s): FOOD FRUIT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Athletic sport and exercise Gymnastics
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Dramatic
SPEECH -- Formula
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 08-00-1974

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ROUND OF APPLAUSE

SOMEONE IN THE GROUP YELLS OUT, "A ROUND OF APPLAUSE" AND THE PEOPLE
DO THIS BY CLAPPING THEIR HANDS WHILE MOVING THEIR ARMS IN A BIG
CIRCLE.

Submitter comment: I WATCHED THIS CHEER BEING DONE AT A CAMPFIRE. AFTER A SONG WAS SUNG,
EVERYONE WOULD DO A CHEER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; GATLINBURG

James Callow Keyword(s): HUMOR ; METAPHOR INTERPRETED LITERALLY

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Athletic sport and exercise Gymnastics
SPEECH -- Formula
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 08-00-1974

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KETCHUP CHEER

SOMEONE IN THE GROUP YELLS OUT, "THE KETCHUP CHEER" AND
THE RIGHT HAND IS CLOSED, LIKE A FIST, AND THE LEFT HAND HITS THE
RIGHT, AS IF HITTING A BOTTLE OF KETCHUP.

Submitter comment: I WATCHED THIS CHEER BEING DONE AT A CAMPFIRE. AFTER A SONG WAS SUNG,
EVERYONE WOULD DO A CHEER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; GATLINBURG

James Callow Keyword(s): HUMOR

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Athletic sport and exercise Gymnastics
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Dramatic
SPEECH -- Formula
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 08-00-1974

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A BIG HAND

SOMEONE IN THE GROUP YELLS OUT, "A BIG HAND" AND
EVERYONE HOLDS UP AN OUTSTRETCHED HAND.

Submitter comment: I WATCHED THIS CHEER BEING DONE AT A CAMPFIRE. AFTER A SONG WAS SUNG,
EVERYONE WOULD DO A CHEER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; GATLINBURG

James Callow Keyword(s): HUMOR ; METAPHOR INTERPRETED LITERALLY

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 08-00-1974

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GRAVE POINTER

IF YOU POINT YOUR FINGER AT A GRAVE THAT'S A SIGN OF BAD
LUCK OR YOUR FINGER WILL ROT OFF.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS LEARNED IN MY EARLY ADOLESCENT STAGE IN MY HOME TOWN.
THIS WAS SOMETHING LEARNED IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD WITH MY PLAY MATES.
THIS SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF IS CONNECTED WITH GESTURE OF A FINGER
AND AN OBJECT. IT HAS AN AIR OF SYMPATHETIC MAGIC.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PHILADELPHIA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Bad luck
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA06171966

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SUPERSTITION

EVERY TIME YOU GO OVER A RAILROAD TRACK YOU MUST LIFT UP YOUR FEET
OR YOU WILL LOSE YOUR BOY FRIEND.

Submitter comment: THIS IS ONE OF A LARGE VARIETY OF SAYINGS THAT YOUNGER KIDS HAVE IN
WHICH A CERTAIN ACTION DONE BY A PERSON MAKES THEM EITHER GET OR
LOSE A BOY OR GIRL FRIEND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Marriage
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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NARRATIVE SONG

OH DEAR MOTHER, PIN A ROSE ON ME.
THREE OLD MEN ARE AFTER ME.
TWO ARE BLIND AND THE OTHER CAN'T SEE.
OH DEAR MOTHER, PIN A ROSE ON ME.
(THIS IS SUNG TO THE TUNE OF PETER, PETER PUMPKINEATER.)

Submitter comment: WHEN MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND I WERE YOUNGER MY GREAT AUNTS USED
TO THROW BIG PARTIES. THIS WAS OUR FAVORITE SONG THAT WE ALWAYS
SANG AT EVERY ONE OF THOSE PARTIES. IT DIDN'T SEEM TO MATTER TO US
THAT DISTINCTIONS WERE MADE BETWEEN THE TWO MEN WHO WERE BLIND AND
THE OTHER ONE THAT COULDN'T SEE.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

James Callow Keyword(s): HUMOR

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ballad, Song, Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Good humor Jest
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00001960S

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Entry filtered.

DRUNK JOKE

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

A DRUNK IS WALKING DOWN THE STREET. HE IS HOLDING A CAR STEERING
WHEEL IN HIS HANDS AND HIS COCK IS HANGING OUT. A POLICEMAN ON THE
STREET SEES HIM AND SAYS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT STEERING
WHEEL. THE DRUNK LOOKS AT IT AND SAYS, OH MY GOD, I LOST MY CAR.
THE COP THEN SAYS, WELL WHY IS YOUR COCK HANGING OUT? THE DRUNK
LOOKS DOWN AND SAYS, OH MY GOD I LOST MY WIFE, TOO.

Submitter comment:

I GOT THIS IN HIGH'SCHOOL (ST. JOSEPH S IN WESTCHESTER) FROM ANOTHER
STUDENT. TELLER USUALLY USES ARM MOTION TO INDICATE HOLDING
STEERING WHEEL IN DRIVING POSITION.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; WESTCHESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): PENIS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman
SPEECH -- Gesture
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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POINTING

YOU SHOULD NEVER POINT AN ACCUSING FINGER AT A PERSON BECAUSE IF
YOU LOOK AT YOUR HAND, THREE OF YOUR FINGERS ARE POINTING AT YOU.

Submitter comment: TOLD TO BREAK CHILDREN OUT OF HABIT OF POINTING AT PEOPLE.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA11001973

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POINTING

IF YOU POINT AT THE SKY YOU SHOULD BITE YOUR FINGER BECAUSE YOU
ARE POINTING AT GOD.

Submitter comment: THIS SAYING WAS TOLD TO STOP CHILDREN FROM POINTING.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Creator
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.22
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA11001973

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SIGN OF CROSS

NEVER GO BACK IF YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN SOMETHING UNLESS YOU MAKE THE
SIGN OF THE CROSS WITH YOUR FOOT.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA11001973

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NEVER STEP OVER URINE OR A STAR WILL FORM ON YOUR EYELID.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): STY? STAR?

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA11001973

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WATCH YOUR STEP

NEVER STEP OVER A PERSON, ESPECIALLY A BABY BECAUSE YOU WILL STOP
THE PERSON FROM GROWING.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA11001973

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BAD LUCK

STEPPING ON A BROOM BRINGS BAD LUCK. HOWEVER, SPITTING ON IT RIGHT
AFTER YOU'VE STEPPED ON IT WILL WARD OFF THE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SAINT CLAIR

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.1
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00001960S

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LUCKY CROSSING

IF YOU LIFT YOUR FEET OFF THE FLOOR OF YOUR CAR WHILE CROSSING A
BRIDGE OVER WATER YOU WILL ALWAYS REACH THE OTHER SIDE SAFELY.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS A MORE COMMON BELIEF IN THE EARLY 1900S WHEN PEOPLE WERE A
LITTLE MORE WARY ABOUT DRIVING CARS OVER BRIDGES.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SAINT CLAIR

James Callow Keyword(s): AUTOMOBILE ; MAGIC

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00001960S

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