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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Proverb

MAY YOUR LUCK BE AS LONG AS A RABBIT'S EARS, SORROW AS SHORT AS HIS TAIL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 02-22-2011 by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; Ear ; EARS ; LUCK ; Maxim ; PROVERB ; Rabbit ; SORROW ; Tail ; VERSE

James Callow Keyword(s): WISH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance P880.3

Date learned: 06-09-1944

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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

CHILDREN AND FOOLS TELL THE TRUTH.

Submitter comment: (LEARNED FROM HER MOTHER.)

Where learned: INDIANA ; Hudson Lake

Keyword(s): ALLITERATION ; PARALLELISM

James Callow Keyword(s): INHIBITIONS ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 12-02-1967

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BEFORE A FRESHMAN CAN STEP ON THE BIG M IN THE CENTRE OF THE
DIAG, HE MUST HAVE TAKEN HIS FIRST EXAM, OR HE WILL FLUNK OUT OF
SCHOOL WITHIN THE YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

James Callow Keyword(s): SLANG--DIAG FOR DIAGONAL? ; WALKING PROHIBITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- School

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CUSTOM

THERE IS A TRADITION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN THAT IF
YOU STEP ON THE M OF THE DIAGONAL EMBLAZED IN THE CROSSWALK,
YOU WILL FLUNK YOUR NEXT EXAM.

Submitter comment:

WHEN A STUDENT AT U. OF M., THE INFORMANT TRIED THIS
TO DISPROVE THE TRADITION, BY STEPPING ON THE M AFTER STUDYING
FOR AN EXAM. SHE FAILED HER EXAM.
KEYPUNCHERS COMMENT, THERE IS ANOTHER LIKE THIS IN THE ARCHIVE.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): EDUCATION ; SYMBOL ; WALKING PROHIBITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- School

Date learned: 12-00-1967

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

NOTHING VENTURED NOTHING LOST

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): ELLIPSIS

James Callow Keyword(s): AMBITION ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 11-15-1967

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PROVERBIAL APOTHEGM

NOTHING VENTURE, (SIC) NOTHING GAINED

Submitter comment: I HEARD THIS IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN
SOURCE NOT REMEMBERED

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

Keyword(s): ELLIPSIS

James Callow Keyword(s): AMBITION ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 10-18-1967

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES SOMETIMES COME GEMS.
YOUNG CHILDREN WILL SAY TRUTHFUL THINGS WHERE OLDER PEOPLE
WILL AVOID IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HONESTY ; INHIBITIONS ; OBSERVATION ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 11-07-1971

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PROVERBIAL APOTHEGM

ITALIAN PROVERB
OUT OF THE MOUTH OF A DRUNKEN MAN YOU GET THE TRUTH

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ALCOHOL ELIMINATES ONE'S INHIBITIONS ; ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 10-26-1969

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DRINK

HE'S ALWAYS AT THE BOTTLE

Submitter comment: HE ALWAYS DRINKS.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; WRITTEN IN A LETTER

Keyword(s): METONYMY: CONTAINER FOR THE CONTAINED. ; PHRASE METAPHOR DRINKING HABITS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

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PROVERB

HITCH YOUR WAGON TO A STAR.

Submitter comment: FROM - UNCERTAIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Keyword(s): AMBITION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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MY FRIEND AS A CHILD, BIT HER NAILS
UNTIL HER FATHER TOLD HER THAT THE NAILS
WOULD MAKE BUMPS ON HER STOMACH THAT WOULD SHOW
FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; PONTIAC

Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC ; NAILBITING ; STOMACH AILMENTS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1963

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HOME REMEDIES

CONSTIPATION
GATHER THE ROOTS OF MAYAPPLE,
CUT OUT THE JOINTS, AND DRY THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOT.
PLACE IN A CLOTH AND BEAT TO A POWDER.
ADD A FEW DROPS OF CASTOR OIL AND ROLL INTO PILLS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Keyword(s): BOWEL HABITS ; HERBAL REMEDIES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 04-01-1972

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LITTLE RABBIT FOO-FOO

( SONG ) LITTLE RABBIT FOO-FOO RUNNIN' THROUGH THE FOREST
SCOOPIN' UP THE FIELD MICE AND HITTIN' THEM OVER THE HEAD.

( SPOKEN ) AND ALONG COME THE GOOD FAIRY...AND SHE SAID,
" LITTLE RABBIT FOO-FOO, I'LL GIVE YOU 3 CHANCES,
( SUNG ) I DON'T WANT TO SEE YOU RUNNIN' THROUGH THE FOREST, SCOOPIN'
UP THE FIELD MICE AND HITTIN' THEM OVER THE HEAD--AND--
IF YOU DON'T DO WHAT I TELL YOU, I'LL TURN YOU INTO A GOON " .
BUT THE NEXT DAY--

(SUNG) LITTLE RABBIT FOO-FOO WAS RUNNIN' THROUGH THE FOREST,
SCOOPIN' UP THE FIELD MICE AND HITTIN' THEM OVER THE HEAD.
( SPOKEN ) AND ALONG CAME THE GOOD FAIRY...AND SHE SAID,
" LITTLE RABBIT FOO-FOO, I'LL GIVE YOU 2 CHANCES, ETC.
BUT THE NEXT DAY--

( REPEATED, BUT NOW WITH ONLY 1 CHANCE )
( SPOKEN ) FOO-FOO BLEW HIS CHANCES, SO THE FAIRY TURNED HIM INTO A
GOON, AND
NARRATOR 1 " DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE MORAL IS?"
NARRATOR 2 " I SURE DO, "
( TOGETHER IN UNISON ) " HARE TODAY, GOON TOMORROW. "

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SANG THIS SONG FOR ME BY HERSELF, BUT IT ACTUALLY SHOULD
BE DONE WITH TWO PEOPLE, ONE ACTING AS NARRATOR AND THE OTHER AS
THE GOOD FAIRY. THE TUNE SHOULD BE SUNG TO THIS MELODY:
" G-G-G-A-B ( REST ) B ( REST ) - A-G-A-B-G-D
GGG-A-B-B-A-G-A-B-G " ( GUITAR NOTES )

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; BRUNVAND C30 ; CANTE FABLE ; PUN ; SHAGGY DOG CANTE FABLE ; THE RABBIT THAT WAS CHANGED INTO A GOON

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children

Date learned: 12-02-1971

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GOOD, BETTER, BEST,
I WILL NEVER REST,
UNTIL THE GOOD IS BETTER,
AND THE BETTER, BEST.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS LEARNED BY THE INFORMANT WHEN SHE WAS IN FIFTH GRADE AT ST.
MICHAEL'S SCHOOL IN SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN. SHE RECITED IT, ALONG WIT
OTHER SAYINGS, EVERY DAY BEFORE HER MATH CLASS. THE TEACHER'S NAME
WAS SISTER CONRADIA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

James Callow Keyword(s): AMBITION ; ASSONANCE ; FINAL ITERATION ; RHYME:AABA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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PROVERB

IF THE GOAT WOULD NOT JUMP,
HE WOULD NOT BREAK HIS LEG. (TRANS)

Submitter comment: ZEIBY KOZKU NIE SKAKOTO TOBY
NOSZKI NIE ZTOMALA

Where learned: HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): AMBITION DARING FOOLHARDINESS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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PROVERB

MEHWE BKYCUW, CKOPWE IUKHEW. ( UKRAINIAN )
IF YOU BITE LESS OFF, YOU'LL SWALLOW IT FASTER. TRANSLATION.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT RECEIVED INFORMATION FROM RELATIVES IN UKRAINE.
THIS REFERS TO NOT ATTEMPTING MORE THAN YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AMBITION ; EATING METAPHOR ; OBSERVATION

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

Date learned: 10-14-1967

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RIDDLE

HOW CAN YOU HAVE A SET OF TEETH INSERTED FREE OF CHARGE?
TEASE A BULLDOG.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Keyword(s): ANIMALS: DOGS ; RIDDLING QUESTION

James Callow Keyword(s): EUPHEMISM FOR DOG BITE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 10-23-1968

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Drunk man talk what he tink when he sober.

Submitter comment: A drunk person says what he's thinking when he's sober.

Where learned: VIRGIN ISLANDS ; Saint Thomas

Keyword(s): tink = think

James Callow Keyword(s): INHIBITIONS ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 02-00-1991

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