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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WE DON'T HAVE OUR BACKHOUSE ANYMORE,
THINGS ARE MIGHTY DIFFERENT THAN BEFORE.
ONCE I HAD TO GO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT,
I WAS SUCH A LITTLE FELLOW, I DIDN'T FIT RIGHT.
I TIPPED THE DARN THING OVER AND GOD! WAS I A SIGHT!
WE DON'T HAVE OUR BACKHOUSE ANYMORE.

Submitter comment: MY DAD OFTEN RECITED THE FOLLOWING NURSERY RHYME TO
MY SISTERS AND ME WHEN WE WERE SAD. IT ALWAYS BROUGHT
A SMILE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACCIDENT TOILET ; BACKHOUSE=PRIVY OUTHOUSE ; REPETITION SLANG HUMOR ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABBBA ; UNDERSTATEMENT OBSERVATION

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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COUNTING OUT

ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO, THREE POTATO, FOUR,
FIVE POTATO, SIX POTATO, SEVEN POTATO, MORE.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A COUNTING SONG PERFORMED BY A GROUP OF PERSONS
WHO HAVE EXTENDED THEIR HANDS SHAPED INTO FISTS TO A PERSON
WHO COUNTS AS HE SAYS THE RHYME. THE PERSON WHOSE FIST IS
TOUCHED ON THE WORD EIGHT MUST PUT THAT FIST BEHIND HIS
BACK AS THE PROCESS OF COUNTING CONTINUES. THIS IS A
GAME USED AS A PROCESS OF ELIMINATION TO SEE WHO IS
"IT" FOR A GAME OF TAG.

Where learned: HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): ON THE COUNT OF EIGHT,--ON THE WORD "MORE"--PUT YOUR FIST BEHIND YOUR BACK.

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 01-22-1968

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BELIEF LUCK

IF YOU BEND BACKWARDS AND KISS THE BLARNEY STONE IN IRELAND YOU WILL
HAVE GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTORTION ; POSITION DIRECTION BACKWARDS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Good luck P881.1
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 06-00-1972

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DON'T TURN YOUR HAT BIBB BACKWARD. THIS IS UNLUCKY.

Submitter comment: BIBB= BRIM.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION OR POSITION: BACKWARDS ; WEARING CLOTHES: HAT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 10-00-1972

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SNAKES

IF YOU SEE A SNAKE OR DREAM ABOUT ONE, SOMEONE IS TALKING ABOUT YOU.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSSIBLE GOSSIP, BACKBITING

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Dreams Dreams about animals

Date learned: 03-13-1975

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WHISTLE IN YOUR EAR

IF YOU HEAR A WHISTLE IN YOUR EAR, SOMEONE IS TALKING ABOUT YOU.
IF YOU SAY THE ALPHABET UNTIL IT STOPS,
THE LETTER IT STOPS ON (WILL BE)
THE FIRST INITIAL OF THE NAME OF THE PERSON TALKING ABOUT YOU.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSSIBLE GOSSIP, BACKBITING

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 03-13-1975

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

COLDER THAN A WELL-DIGGERS ASS.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT TOLD THIS STORY: BEFORE THE AGE OF MACHINERY WHEN PEOPLE
DUG THEIR OWN WELLS THEIR BACKSIDES WERE CLOSE TO THE SIDE OF THE
WELL WALL BECAUSE THE HOLE WAS SO NARROW. BECAUSE OF THE DAMP GROUND
THE WELL-DIGGER'S BACKSIDE OFTEN GOT VERY COLD.

Data entry tech comment: GOOD GRIEF

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CLIMATE

James Callow Keyword(s): EUPHEMISM: BACKSIDES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Air Weather Fire
SPEECH -- Folk etymology
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 03-08-1970

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ONE HUNDRED NOTHINGS

ONE HUNDRED NOTHINGS KILLED THE JACK ASS

Submitter comment: STORY EXPLAINING PROVERB

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): NUMBERS

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Number P686.1.100
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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BACKACHE REMEDY (ITALIAN)

TAKE A PIECE OF CLOTH, PUT A HALF DOLLAR IN IT.
LAY ON YOUR STOMACH, SOMEONE RUBS YOUR BACK.
LIGHT THE CLOTH ON THE PERSON'S BACK AND COVER WITH GLASS.
DO THIS 5 TIMES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): BACKACHE ; HEAT REMEDY ; TRANSFERENCE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 12-00-1969

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GOOD LUCK

TAKE THREE VERY SILVER QUARTERS AND PUT THEM ON YOUR BACK.
NEXT TAKE A GLASS AND PUT IT OVER THE THREE QUARTERS.
FINALLY, LIGHT A CANDLE UNDER THE GLASS AND IT WILL DRAW
ALL OF THE EVIL SPIRITS OUT OF YOUR BACK.

Submitter comment: HIS GRANDMOTHER TOLD HIM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; J L HUDSONS COMPANY

Keyword(s): BACKACHE ; TRANSFERENCE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 12-02-1967

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IF YOU GO BACK AFTER SOMETHING, MAKE A CROSS WITH YOUR
FOOT OR YOU'LL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; FULTON

James Callow Keyword(s): GO BACK INTO THE HOUSE, AFTER LEAVING?

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 06-20-1970

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THE WELL RETORT

SOME PERSONS WHEN THEY THINK SAY "WELL...." A RETORT IS TO SAY
"THAT'S A DEEP SUBJECT" MEANING THAT THE SUBJECT-WELL- IS
DEEP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; PLYMOUTH

Keyword(s): COMEBACK

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 04-00-1971

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THAT'S THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): COMEBACK

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 03-00-1971

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YOU NEED THAT LIKE A HOG NEEDS SIDE POCKETS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): COMEBACK

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 03-00-1971

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YOU MAKE A BETTER DOOR THAN WINDOW.

Submitter comment: THIS IS SAID WHEN SOMEONE IS BLOCKING YOUR WAY ESPECIALLY IN
FRONT OF THE T.V. SET.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): COMEBACK

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 03-00-1971

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ACT YOUR AGE NOT YOUR SHOE SIZE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON

Keyword(s): COMEBACK

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 03-00-1971

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YOUR MOTHER WEARS ARMY BOOTS AND YOUR FATHER'S MUSTACHE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HAS USED THIS MANY TIMES TO INSULT SOMEONE, BUT CANNOT
REMEMBER WHERE HE HEARD IT AS A CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): COMEBACK

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 10-31-1971

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"YOU'RE BUILT WRONG; YOUR NOSE RUNS AND YOUR FEET SMELL."
USED WHEN IN CONVERSATION WITH A PERSON WHO HAS A COLD. HIS
FEET RUN AND HIS NOSE SMELLS UNDER NORMAL CONDITIONS, BUT THIS
PHRASE IS USED FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS CONTRACTED THE COMMON COLD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT USED THIS SAYING WHEN HE MET SOMEONE WITH A COLD. HE
REMEMBERS HIS GRANDFATHER USED IT JOKINGLY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): COMEBACK

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 11-03-1971

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YOU NEED THAT LIKE YOU NEED A HOLE IN THE HEAD.

Submitter comment: TO BE SAID TO SOMEONE WHO HAS GOTTEN OR IS GOING TO GET SOMETHING
WHICH HE DOESN'T NEED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): COMEBACK

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 03-31-1971

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YOU NEED THAT LIKE A HOG NEEDS SID POCKETS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; BRIGGS 26

Keyword(s): COMEBACK

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 03-09-1971

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