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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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PROVERBIAL PHRASE

BREAK THE ICE.

James Callow comment: ACTUALLY NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS--CLIMATE--ALTHOUGH
I REALIZE YOU WANT LITERAL IDENTIFICATIONS--F.M. PAULSEN

Where learned: WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY

Keyword(s): CLIMATE

James Callow Keyword(s): CONVERSATION STARTER? ; IDENTIFYING?

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 03-20-1968

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

BUSIER THAN A ONE ARMED PAPER HANGER WITH THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH.

Where learned: DEARBORN

Keyword(s): NUMBERS

James Callow Keyword(s): FRUSTRATION

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Upper body, arms, neck
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 04-06-1971

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PROVERB

BUSIER THAN A ONE LEGGED MAN IN AN ASS-KICKING CONTEST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): NUMBERS

James Callow Keyword(s): FRUSTRATION

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Lower body, legs
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 04-04-1970

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PROVERBIAL COMPARISON

BUSY AS A ONE ARM PAPER HANGER.

Submitter comment: THIS IS USED TO CONVEY MUCH ACTIVITY. A PAPER HANGER IS A PERSON
WHO IN THE OLD DAYS HUNG WALLPAPER. A PERSON WHO HANGS WALL PAPER
WITH ONE ARM IS AN EXTREMELY BUSY PERSON. INFORMANT USES THIS TO
CONVEY A BUSY SITUATION. HE FOUND THIS QUITE AMUSING AND FIRST
HEARD IT AT WORK.

Data entry tech comment: GOOD GRIEF

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): NUMBERS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 10-15-1971

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A SPADE

TO CALL A SPADE A SPADE
LLAMAR AL PAN, PAN, Y AL VINO, VINO. (SPANISH)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FOOD ; GAMES

James Callow Keyword(s): FRANKNESS ; REPETITION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 10-05-1967

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PROVERB

CAN'T SEE THE FOREST THROUGH THE TREES.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Keyword(s): IRONY ; PLANTS ; SEMANTICS

James Callow Keyword(s): MINUTE DETAILS OBSCURE GOAL ; SHORTSIGHTEDNESS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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IRISH SAYING

CAN'T THE CAT LOOK AT THE QUEEN?

Submitter comment: MEANING: HAVE I NO RIGHTS AT ALL?

Where learned: BUFFALO ; NEW YORK

Keyword(s): ALLITERATION ; ANIMAL

James Callow Keyword(s): JUSTICE?

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Number Emptiness, nothingness, zero
SPEECH -- Formula
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

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PROVERB

CAT'S OUT OF THE BAG.

Submitter comment: MEANING: SOMETHING THAT'S BEEN KEPT SECRET IS NO LONGER A SECRET.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 03-10-1971

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TRADITIONAL WORDS

EIGHTY-SIX.

Submitter comment: THE PHRASE WHICH WAS PICKED UP WAS EIGHTY-SIX. TO EIGHTY-SIX
SOMETHING MEANT TO 1, IGNORE IT, OR 2, THROW IT AWAY. THERE IS ALSO
A TRADITIONAL TALE ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF THE TERM. IT IS BELIEVED TO
HAVE COME FROM AN OLD BARTENDER'S TERM. WHEN THE BARTENDER SAW THAT
SOMEONE WAS DRUNK, HE WOULD PASS THE WORD TO EIGHTY-SIX THAT MAN.
THAT WOULD MEAN EITHER CALL THE POLICE, WHOSE ADDRESS WAS 86TH ST.
OR TO GIVE THE MAN 86 PROOF LIQUOR, RATHER THAN 100 PROOF.

Where learned: CALIFORNIA

James Callow Keyword(s): ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE ; NUMBER ; THREAT

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Trade & commerce
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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A TOUGH JOB

THE INFORMANT DESCRIBED A DIFFICULT TASK AS ENOUGH TO WEAR OUT A
BULLDOG.

Submitter comment: IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE INFORMANT ACQUIRED THIS PHRASE AROUND HIS
HOMETOWN OF ASHLAND, KENTUCKY.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; WORK

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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PROVERB

EYES THAT DO NOT SEE; HEART THAT DOES NOT FEEL.
(SPANISH) OJOS QUE NO VEN, CORAZON QUE NO SIENTE

Where learned: DETROIT

Keyword(s): ELLIPSIS

James Callow Keyword(s): TRANSLATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 00-00-1953

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PROVERBIAL PHRASE

NIP IT IN THE BUD

Data entry tech comment: ORIGINAL 5 X 8 CARD DOES NOT CONTAIN LOCATION ITEM WAS COLLECTED OR
THE COLLECTOR'S ADDRESS

Where learned: DETROIT, ASSUMED

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE ; PRECAUTION ; SYMBOL ; VEGETATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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NOT TOO EXCITING

NOTHING TO WRITE HOME ABOUT

Data entry tech comment: ORIGINAL 5 X 8 CARD STATES THAT INFORMATION WAS RECEIVED BY PHONE

Where learned: DETROIT, ASSUMED

James Callow Keyword(s): DISAPPOINTMENT ; QUALITY ; UNIMPRESSIVE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 11-02-1969

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PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH SAYING

NOT SO PRETTY FOR NICE BUT AWFUL STOUT FOR STRONG

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA

James Callow Keyword(s): ALLITERATION ; CONTRAST

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 11-13-1965

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PROVERBIAL PHRASE

NOT YET DRY BEHIND THE EARS

Where learned: DETROIT, ASSUMED

James Callow Keyword(s): IMMATURITY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 10-23-1968

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OLDER THAN THE HILLS

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CAMPUS

James Callow Keyword(s): AGE ; STALE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 11-01-1968

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PROVERB

I'M ON THE WAGON

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

James Callow Keyword(s): MEANING: I'M NOT DRINKING ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ; WATER WAGON

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 00-00-1964

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PROVERBIAL PHRASE

ONCE IN A BLUE MOON

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

James Callow Keyword(s): CELESTIAL ; SELDOM

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 11-11-1968

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PROVERBIAL PHRASE

ON THE BEAM

Data entry tech comment: ORIGINAL 5 X 8 CARD INDICATES THAT THE INFORMATION WAS RECEIVED IN
A LETTER.

Where learned: UNKNOWN

James Callow Keyword(s): ON TARGET OR THE RIGHT TRACK

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 10-23-1969

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PROVERBIAL PHRASE

OUT OF THE FRYING PAN AND INTO THE FIRE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HAZZARD ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

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