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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THE FOLLOWING CONVERSATION TOOK PLACE BETWEEN A CUSTOMER AND A
WAITRESS IN A JEWISH RESTAURANT.
FUNEM?
SVFM.
FUNEX?
SVFX.
OKMNX.
TRANSLATION:
HAVE YOU ANY HAM?
YES, WE HAVE HAM.
HAVE YOU ANY EGGS?
YES, WE HAVE EGGS.
OK, HAM AND EGGS.

Submitter comment: WHEN MY GREAT UNCLE TRIED THIS ON US NO ONE COULD GUESS IT JUST BY
LOOKING AT IT. HOWEVER, WHEN HE READ IT TO US USING EXPRESSION IT
WAS MUCH EASIER TO CATCH ON. THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH THIS "PUZZLE" IS
THAT IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO CATCH ON TO THE FIRST TIME YOU SEE
IT. THEN ONCE YOU ARE TOLD WHAT IT MEANS THE ELEMENT OF CURIOSITY IS
DESTROYED. ALMOST INVARIABLY PEOPLE WILL TRY TO READ EACH LINE
AS A WORD NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU TELL THEM TO PRONOUNCE EACH
LETTER SEPARATELY.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

James Callow Keyword(s): JEWISH PRONUNCIATION OF ENGLISH

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Group of Vowels and Consonants, and of Words
RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00001960S

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS A BIGAMIST?
A: AN ITALIAN FOG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE PARK ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): SATIRE OF ITALIAN PRONUNCIATION OF ENGLISH

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- W4OO

Date learned: 10-15-1972

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GENERAL FOLKLORE

A MAN IN ENGLAND IN THE 1500,S COULD BE CRUSHED TO DEATH BY BEING
PLACED BETWEEN TWO BOARDS WHICH WERE LOADED WITH STONES, FOR NOT
PLEADING GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY AT THE BAR IN THE COURTS. BECAUSE
THIS WOULD HOLD UP THE COURTS AND DELAY OTHER TRIALS.

Where learned: WORK

Keyword(s): PLEADING ENGLISH COURTS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Common law

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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TALE

THERE WAS A TEACHER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT WHO WAS REALLY
STRANGE, ONE DAY HE WAS LECTURING ON A PLAY BY SHAKESPEARE, AND
HE STARTED TO READ A CHARACTER IN THE PLAY WHO HAPPENED TO BE WOUNDED
IN THE LEG. THE TEACHER LIMPED AROUND IN FRONT OF THE CLASS, HOLDING
HIS LEG WITH ONE HAND AND GESTURING WILDLY WITH THE OTHER.
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SPEECH, THE BELL RANG. THE TEACHER PICKED UP
HIS BRIEF CASE AND LIMPED OUT OF THE ROOM, STILL HOLDING
HIS LEG.

Submitter comment: INFORNANT HEARD THE STORY FROM A FACULTY MEMBER AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ECCENTRIC ENGLISH PROFESSOR ; FEIGNED LAMENESS CONTINUED ; PSYCHOSOMATIC ILLNESS (LAMENESS)

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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BELIEF

THERE ARE CUFFS ON PANTS BECAUSE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN FARMERS USED
TO ROLL UP THEIR TROUSERS WHEN THEY WENT TO WORK IN THE FIELDS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Cuffed ; English ; Farmers ; Fashion ; Functions ; Menswear ; Origin ; Pants

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business

Date learned: 11-05-1968

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showing 5 items

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