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"Ka zoon tight" is a word used to scare away bad spirits,
because when you sneeze you open up your body to bad spirits.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; ETYMOLOGY ; Origin ; SNEEZE

James Callow Keyword(s): Gesundheit

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 00001960S

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ORIGIN OF "LYNCHING"

MANY YEARS AGO, WHEN IRELAND WAS UNDER THE RULE
OF THE SPANIARDS, THE SON OF A MAYOR LYNCH IN
IRELAND FELL IN LOVE WITH A MAIDEN WHO WAS BETROTHED,
AGAINST HER WILL, TO A SPANIARD. THE LYNCHED BOY KILLED
THE SPANIARD AND, ACCORDING TO LAW, SHOULD HAVE BEEN HUNG
FOR HIS CRIME. BUT THE PEOPLE OF THE TOWN THOUGHT SO HIGHLY
OF HIM THAT THEY REFUSED TO HAVE A TRIAL TO HANG HIM,
HIS FATHER WAS VERY CONSCIENTIOUS AND FELT THAT AS MAYOR
HE HAD A DUTY TO PERFORM. SO HE TOOK THE LAW INTO HIS OWN HANDS
AND HUNG HIS OWN SON. AND THAT IS HOW THE WORD "LYNCHING"
CAME TO HAVE THE MEANING IT HAS TODAY.

Submitter comment:

MRS MCCLOSKEY HEARD THIS WHEN SHE LIVED IN BELFAST, IRELAND.
ABOUT 1915

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ETYMOLOGY ; IRELAND ; Lynch ; Lynching ; Origin

Subject headings: SPEECH -- S478

Date learned: 01-13-1964

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Entry filtered.

FOLK ETYMOLOGY: SHYSTER

THIS WORD IS THE CURRENT NAME OF AN UNSCRUPULOUS LAWYER. A
GERMAN LAWYER OF NEW YORK ONCE APPLIED FOR A WARRANT FOR A
CLIENT WHO HAD SLANDERED HIM BY CALLING HIM A VULGAR NAME
WHICH, AS PRONOUNCED BY THE LAWYER, SOUNDED LIKE SHYSTER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Anti-Semitic ; ETYMOLOGY ; Lawyer ; Offensive term ; Origin

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Common law
SPEECH -- S478

Date learned: 11-29-1969

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EXPLANATION OF NAME, "MURDER HILL"

THERE IS A STRETCH OF NARROW, WINDING ROAD ON THE SIDE OF A HILL
JUST OUTSIDE OF LITTLE VALLEY, NEW YORK. SIGNS AT EACH END OF THIS
LONG ROAD CALL IT "MURDER HILL."
ONE EXPLANATION OF THE NAME IS THE FACT THAT A FATAL ACCIDENT
COULD EASILY HAPPEN THERE.
ANOTHER EXPLANATION IS A LEGEND THAT A MAN KILLED HIS WIFE AND
THEN HIMSELF IN A HOUSE NOT FAR FROM THE ROAD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: NEW YORK ; FRANKLINVILLE

Keyword(s): ETYMOLOGY ; Murder Hill ; Origin ; Urban Legend

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
SPEECH -- S478

Date learned: 06-00-1968

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PONTIAC ROAD

OFF OF PONTIAC ROAD, THERE IS SUPPOSED TO BE AN OLD HOUSE WHICH
WAS A DROP OFF STATION FOR RUNAWAY SLAVES. PONTIAC'S NAME IS
SUPPOSED TO BE DERIVED FROM THIS HOUSE.

Submitter comment:

MIKE WASN'T TOO SURE WHERE HE GOT THIS INFORMATION, BUT HE WAS
CERTAIN THAT THIS WAS TRUE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ETYMOLOGY ; Origin ; Pontiac ; Slavery ; Slaves ; Underground Railroad

Subject headings: SPEECH -- S478

Date learned: 10-07-1967

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Entry filtered.

FOLK ETYMOLOGY: SHYSTER

THIS WORD IS THE CURRENT NAME OF AN UNSCRUPULOUS LAWYER. A
GERMAN LAWYER OF NEW YORK ONCE APPLIED FOR A WARRANT FOR A
CLIENT WHO HAD SLANDERED HIM BY CALLING HIM A VULGAR NAME
WHICH, AS PRONOUNCED BY THE LAWYER, SOUNDED LIKE SHYSTER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Anti-Semitic ; ETYMOLOGY ; INSULT ; Jewish ; Origin ; Slur

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Common law
SPEECH -- S478

Date learned: 11-29-1969

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EXPLANATION OF NAME, "MURDER HILL"

THERE IS A STRETCH OF NARROW, WINDING ROAD ON THE SIDE OF A HILL
JUST OUTSIDE OF LITTLE VALLEY, NEW YORK. SIGNS AT EACH END OF THIS
LONG ROAD CALL IT "MURDER HILL."
ONE EXPLANATION OF THE NAME IS THE FACT THAT A FATAL ACCIDENT
COULD EASILY HAPPEN THERE.
ANOTHER EXPLANATION IS A LEGEND THAT A MAN KILLED HIS WIFE AND
THEN HIMSELF IN A HOUSE NOT FAR FROM THE ROAD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: NEW YORK ; FRANKLINVILLE

Keyword(s): ETYMOLOGY ; Murder Hill ; Origin ; Urban Legend

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
SPEECH -- S478

Date learned: 06-00-1968

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PONTIAC ROAD

OFF OF PONTIAC ROAD, THERE IS SUPPOSED TO BE AN OLD HOUSE WHICH
WAS A DROP OFF STATION FOR RUNAWAY SLAVES. PONTIAC'S NAME IS
SUPPOSED TO BE DERIVED FROM THIS HOUSE.

Submitter comment:

MIKE WASN'T TOO SURE WHERE HE GOT THIS INFORMATION, BUT HE WAS
CERTAIN THAT THIS WAS TRUE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ETYMOLOGY ; Origin ; Pontiac ; Slavery ; Slaves ; Underground Railroad

Subject headings: SPEECH -- S478

Date learned: 10-07-1967

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Entry filtered.

LANGUAGE OF ISRAEL: NO REAL NATIONAL LANGUAGE

MANY YEARS LATER, A PUPIL OF ELIEZER BEN-YEHUDA'S DECIDED TO GO
AND PINPOINT WHAT THE JEWISH PEOPLE USED FOR THEIR NATIONAL
LANGUAGE. SINCE THEY WERE ALL CAREFUL IN ORDINARY SPEAKING, THIS
PUPIL DECIDED THAT THE ONLY WAY TO FIND OUT HOW THE PEOPLE REALLY
SPOKE WOULD BE TO CATCH THEM WITH THEIR TONGUES OFF GUARD. SO ONE
DAY HE WENT TO A JEWISH SCHOOL IN JERUSALEM AND WAITED UNTIL ONE
OF THE SMALLEST BOYS CAME OUT INTO THE PLAYGROUND. THE PUPIL
WALKED UP TO HIM FROM BEHIND AND ROUGHLY KNOCKED THE LITTLE BOY'S
HAT OFF. THE PUPIL EXPECTED THE BOY TO CRY OUT "MOTHER," EITHER
SAYING "IMMA," WHICH IS HEBREW, OR "MAMALE," WHICH IS YIDDISH,
BUT INSTEAD THE LITTLE BOY PICKED UP HIS HAT, FACED BEN-YEHUDA'S
PUPIL SQUARELY AND HISSED "HAMAR" (ASSHOLE), WHICH IS THE SAME
IN BOTH LANGUAGES. SO BECAUSE OF THIS INCIDENT, THEN, WE STILL
DO NOT KNOW IF ISRAEL'S NATIONAL LANGUAGE IS HEBREW OR YIDDISH.

Data entry tech comment:

Beginning of tale is missing.

 

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Culture ; ETYMOLOGY ; Hebrew ; Israel ; Jewish ; Language ; Origin ; Yiddish

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
SPEECH -- Folk etymology
PROVERB -- V620

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LANGUAGE OF ISRAEL: ELIEZER BEN-YEHUDA AND THE FORMATION OF

THE INFORMANT TOLD ME THE STORY OF ELIEZER BEN-YEHUDA, THE MAN WHO
COMPILED THE MODERN HEBREW LANGUAGE. BEN-YEHUDA FOUND THAT THE
JEWISH PEOPLE KNEW THE MEANINGS OF ONLY 7,700 HEBREW WORDS WHEN HE
COMPILED HIS FAMOUS DICTIONARY IN THE 1800'S. BEN-YEHUDA HAD TO
MAKE UP WORDS TO FIT NEW CONCEPTS THAT DID NOT EXIST WHERE ANCIENT
HEBREW WAS USED ("CARRIAGE," ETC.) SO HE COMBINED GERMAN, HEBREW
AND ARABIC TO FORM WHAT IS NOW KNOWN AS YIDDISH.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ETYMOLOGY ; Hebrew ; Jewish ; Language ; Origin

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
SPEECH -- Folk etymology

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HOW GOD MADE "FLUTTER-BYS"

WELL, THE LORD HAD JUST FINISHED MAKING THE WORLD AND HE SAT BACK
IN HIS BIG OL' ROCKER TO LOOK IT OVER. "NOT A BAD JOB, IF I SAY SO
MYSELF." HE LIT UP A BIG, FINE CIGAR AND WAS FEELING PRETTY GOOD
ABOUT IT UNTIL HE NOTICED THAT THE WORLD LOOKED KIND OF BARE. THE
FACT OF THE MATTER WAS THERE WASN'T A THING TO THE WORLD EXCEPT LAND,
TREES AND A LOTS OF WATER. THERE WAS EVEN MORE WATER THAN LAND.
"WONDER HOW I DID THAT," THE LORD SAID. "SEEMS TO ME I'D PLANNED FOR
THERE TO BE MORE LANDTHAN WATER." WELL, HE SHRUGGED HIS SHOULDERS AND
TURNED HIS MIND TO MAKE THE WORLD LOOK A BIT PRETTIER. "GIMME MY
PRUNING SHEARS," HE CALLED OUT AND ONE OF THE CUTE, LITTLE ANGELS RAN
AND GOT THEM. THEN THE GREAT LORD ALMIGHTY LEANED OUT OF HIS ROCKING
CHAIR, TRIMMED THE TREES, AND THREW THE TRIMMINGS ALL OVER THE EMPTY
GROUND. THAT'S WHAT MADE THE GRASS, BUSHES, AND ALL THE FLOWERS.
"NOW THAT DON'T LOOK TOO BAD," HE SAID AND LEANED BACK. "YESSIRY
I'VE DONE MADE A AWFUL PRETTY WORLD." AND SO SAYING, HE WENT TO BED
TO REST UP FROM ALL THAT WORK. THE NEXT MORNING THE LORD HADN'T EVEN
HAD ONE EYE OPEN YET, WHEN HE HEARD THE FLOWERS WHISPERING AMONG
THEMSELVES, "IT'S LONELY DOWN HERE"; THE OTHER FLOWER SAID, "WE
WERE PUT HERE TO KEEP THE GROUND COMPANY AND MAKE EVERYTHING LOOK
PRETTY, BUT IT SURE IS MIGHTY LONELY." THE LORD SHOOK HIS HEAD IN
DISGUST. "HAVE MERCY, FATHER. YOU GET THROUGH MAKING ONE THANG AND
AND THE NEXT THANG YOU KNOW YOU GOTTA MAKE SOMETHING TO GO WITH THE
FIRST. GIMME THEM LITTLE SHEARS, ONE OF YOU ANGELS, PLEASE." AN
ANGEL BROUGHT HIM THE TEENICHY PAIR OF SHEARS AND HE BENT OVER TO THE
EARTH AND STARTED SNIPPING LITTLE PIECES OFF OF EVERYTHING - THE SKY,
THE GROUND, THE TREES, THE ANIMALS, THE BUSHES, THE FLOWERS;
EVERYTHING HE PUT HIS SHEARS ON, GOT SNIPPED. "THE VERY IDEA OF
GETTING COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE WORLD AND IT AIN'T EVEN A DAY OLD.
THAT'S GRATITUDE." THE LORD HAD A FEELING HE WAS GOING TO BE GETTING
COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE WORLD FROM THEN ON. HE WAS SO MAD THAT HE DID
NOT CARE WHAT HE SNIPPED - SNIP, SNIP, ALL MORNING LONG. WELL, WHEN
THE FOLKS LOOKED UP AND SAW THE TINY CLIPPINGS FLUTTERING AROUND.
THEY CALLED THEM FLUTTER-BYS. THE BLUE FLUTTER-BYS HAD BEEN SNIPPED
FROM THE SKY; THE YELLOW FLUTTER-BYS HAD BEEN CLIPPINGS FROM THE SUN;
AND THERE WERE THE LORD'S WHITE FLUTTER-BYS THAT WERE CLIPPINGS FROM
THE STARS. EVERY COLOR FLUTTER-BY YOU COULD THINK OF WAS FLUTTERING
AROUND.

Submitter comment:

THIS IS ANOTHER LONG NARRATIVE WITH A STRONG BLACK IMAGE, AS REFERRED
TO IN MY COLLECTION'S SEQUENCE NUMBER 731772-1; I GET THE
IMPRESSION THAT THIS IS A BLACK GOD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Butterfly ; CREATION ; ETYMOLOGY ; God ; NAME ; Origin ; PERSONIFICATION ; Tale

James Callow Keyword(s): PERSONIFICATION

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Creation and Order of Animal Life
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 00-00-1954

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