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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WHY DO SAILOR UNIFORMS HAVE THIRTEEN
BUTTONS ON THEIR PANTS?
THEY REPRESENT THE ORIGINAL THIRTEEN
COLONIES.

Submitter comment: MY HUSBAND GAVE ME THIS EXPLANATION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BUTTONS

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Lower body and legs

Date learned: 10-00-1987

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SHERLOCK HOLMES RIDDLE

SHERLOCK HOLMES DIES AND GOES TO HEAVEN AND SAINT PETER
WANTS TO FIND OUT IF THIS GUY WAS REALLY THE FAMOUS SHERLOCK
HOLMES. SO HE LINES UP EVERYONE IN HEAVEN (THEY ARE ALL NUDE)
AND ASKS HIM TO PICK OUT ADAM AND EVE. SHERLOCK SAYS, "THOSE
TWO". HOW DID HE KNOW?
-- ADAM AND EVE DID NOT HAVE ANY NAVELS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): BELLY BUTTON

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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Trick

Trick:

A tricky person will point at a button on your clothing and ask "Do you want that?" If you say "yes," then he rips it off and gives it to you. If you are unfortunate enough to say "no," he rips it off and throws it away.

Submitter comment:

Be careful who you pull this trick on. He should not be Dick the Bruiser.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): BULLY ; Button ; CLOTHING ; JOKE ; Prank ; Tease ; TRICK ; TRICKSTER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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Retort

Q: So what?

Retort: Buttons on eggs, zippers on bananas.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Bananas ; BUTTONS ; COMEBACK ; Eggs ; RETORT ; SARCASM ; Sew ; SEWING ; Wisecrack ; Zippers

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

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Language

Tongue Twister:

Blue bottom trousers, buttons made of brass, loose around the ankles tight around the ass. Ask me any questions surely I won't tell, if you don't believe me you can go to WELL...hello operator give me number nine; if the line is busy give me back my dime.

Other endings might be "you look like frankenstein" or any "-ine" ending.

Submitter comment:

He learned it in school when he was about 10 or 11

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs Added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Taste? Also, Verse?

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Blue ; Button ; Dime ; GAME ; Jump Rope ; Language ; Operator ; PLAY ON WORDS ; PUN ; RHYME ; SONG ; TONGUE TWISTER ; Trousers ; WORDPLAY

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

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BUTTON BELIEF

YOU SHOULD NOT SEW A BUTTON ON YOUR OWN GARMENTS (ON YOUR BODY)
UNLESS YOU ARE CHEWING SOMETHING.

Submitter comment:

THE REASON IS THAT YOU SEW THINGS ON DEAD PEOPLE. A JEWISH
CUSTOM.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Button ; CUSTOM ; Dead ; Deceased ; Jewish ; Mend ; Sew ; Sew ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 04-00-1968

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BUTTONING CLOTHING (COLLECTOR,S TITLE)

CLOTHING BUTTONED THE WRONG WAY SHOULD NOT BE CHANGED, BECAUSE YOUR
LUCK WILL ALSO CHANGE.

Submitter comment:

TOLD TO ME AT HOME

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Button ; CLOTHES ; CLOTHING ; Fashion ; LUCK ; Mismatched ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC ; MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- P833 P833.22

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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showing 7 items

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