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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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NEW YEAR LUCK

AT MIDNIGHT ON NEW YEAR EAT HERRING TO ASSURE YOURSELF OF GOOD LUCK
IN THE YEAR TO COME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): FISH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 00001930S

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BROAD SHOULDERS

AS BROAD BETWEEN THE SHOULDERS AS A HERRING IS BETWEEN THE EYES.
(DESCRIBING A GUY WITH SLENDER SHOULDERS.)

Submitter comment: MAUREEN'S INFORMANT WAS HER 82 YEAR OLD GRANDMOTHER EVA HARMON
OF FRENCH DESCENT CURRENTLY RESIDING IN ALGONAC, MICHIGAN.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): COMPARISON ; FISH ; HUMAN BODY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fish
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 11-08-1972

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PROVERB

AS WET AS A FISH--AS DRY AS A BONE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): COMPARISON ; FISH

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; CONTRAST

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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INDIAN EXPRESSION

A BAMBOO FISH TRAP
IN INDIA, A WORLDLY MAN WOULD BE COMPARED TO 'A BAMBOO FISH TRAP.'

Submitter comment: THE IDEA IS THAT TO MAKE A BAMBOO FISH TRAP THE BAMBOO
MUST BE CARVED TO ADMIT
THE FISH AND PREVENT HIS ESCAPE. WHEN APPLIED TO A MAN,
THIS MEANS HE IS BENT TO THE WORLD AND ITS PLEASURES, RATHER THAN
STRAIGHT AND SEEKING THE INFINITE.

Data entry tech comment: BUDDHA WEEPS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FISH ; HUMAN CREATION ; PLANT

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

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IRISH PROVERB

THE DAY OF THE WIND IS NOT THE DAY OF THE SCALLOP.

Submitter comment: SCALLOP REFERS TO TIGHTENING THE THATCH ON A ROOFTOP.

Where learned: GRAND RAPIDS

Keyword(s): FISH?

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: NEGATIVE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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DRINKING SAYING

TO SAY THAT ONE DRINKS LIKE A FISH IS A FALLACY BECAUSE FISH DRINK
VERY LITTLE.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Keyword(s): FISH

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; PARADOX

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fish
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PROVERB

THE CAT WHO CAN'T REACH THE FISH, SAYS THEY SMELL.
GREEK?

Submitter comment: TRANSLATED FROM GREEK

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; FISH

James Callow Keyword(s): JEALOUSY ; OBSERVATION ; SOUR GRAPES

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WELLERISM-- SWIFTIE

NO NO YOU CAN'T HAVE ANY OF MY LOBSTER, HE SAID SHELLFISHLY

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN ; SHELLFISH

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Wellerism Quotation

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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CUSTOM

CUSTOM TO CELEBRATE BOYS' DAY (NOW CALLED CHILDREN'S DAY), ON MAY
5TH. ON THIS DAY A COLORFUL CLOTH CARP IS FLOWN FROM THE FAMILY
POLE IN THE GARDEN, SINCE THE CARP SYMBOLIZES THE STRENGTH AND
PERSEVERANCE OF THE CARP AS IT STRUGGLES UP STREAM AGAINST THE
DOWNWARD CURRENT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LIVED IN JAPAN WHILE SHE WAS GROWING UP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): FISH ; FLAG OR BANNER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 5
BELIEF -- Celestial Body

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LEGEND

IN THE FIJI ISLANDS THE WOMEN OF THE HOUSEHOLDS CATCH FISH
IN THEIR MOUTHS DURING THE PLENTIFUL SEASON. BEFORE THEY GO OUT TO
THE WATER, THEY GREASE THEIR FACES UP SO THEY
WON'T DISTRACT THE FISH.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): FISHING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
BELIEF -- Fish

Date learned: 03-09-1972

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FISHING FLEETS

IN VALENCIA, SPAIN, WHEN THE SHIPS ARE GOING OUT TO SEA ON THEIR
FISHING VOYAGES, THERE IS A TOWN CEREMONY WHERE THE PRIESTS OF THE
TOWN BLESS THE FLEETS JUST BEFORE DEPARTURE. THIS IS ALSO THE
TIME THAT THE WIVES AND SWEETHEARTS SEE THEIR MEN OFF, PERHAPS
FOR THE LAST TIME.

Where learned: MARYGROVE COLLEGE ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FISHING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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MORAL PROVERB

HE DOESN'T EAT HIMSELF AND DOESN'T GIVE ANYBODY ELSE ANYTHING TO EAT
EITHER.

Submitter comment: A TRUE MISER, A SCROOGE, THIS IS A LITHUANIAN PROVERB.

Data entry tech comment: FOR LITHUANIAN PHRASE DENOTING MORAL PROVERB SEE ORIGINAL 5X8 CARD.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; HONORS HOUSE

Keyword(s): PARALLELISM MORALITY SELFISH

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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DRENCHED

TUYMAKTY JAK SLEDZ.
HE'S DRENCHED LIKE A HERRING.

Submitter comment: HERRING IS A POPULAR FOOD IN POLAND, SO IT'S EASILY USED AS A
COMPARISON. BEFORE IT IS PREPARED IT IS PUT IN WATER TO SOAK.
MY MOTHER REMEMBERS THIS PROVERB USED IN POLAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): WET FISH

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 11-30-1967

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WOMEN'S AILMENTS

JAPANESE BELIEVE THAT CERTAIN ANIMALS CAN BE CURES
FOR WOMEN'S AILMENTS.
CHARRED CARP IS EATEN FOR BREAST DISEASE
AND CHARRED MOLE IS EATEN FOR WOMEN'S DIZZINESS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL INGESTION AS CURE ; CURE, FISH INGESTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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Entry filtered.

JOKE

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

WHAT IS POLISH SURF AND TURF?
KEILBASA AND CARP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): FISH FOOD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Poli

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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RIDDLE QUESTION

WHAT KIND OF FISH HAS A RIGHT KNEE AND A LEFT KNEE?
A TUNEE FISH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; REDFORD

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN ON TUNA FISH

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 11-17-1979

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RIDDLE

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GUITAR AND A TUNA FISH?
YOU CAN TUNE A GUITAR, BUT YOU CAN'T TUNE A FISH.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): CONUNDRUM ; FISH: TUNA FISH

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 10-10-1971

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THAI CHILDREN'S RECREATION

"ONE OF THE THINGS WE USED TO DO WAS GO TO THE FOREST AND FIND A
LONG STRAND OF SPIDER WEB. WE WOULD THEN STICK AN ANT TO THE END
OF THE WEB AND DROP IT INTO THE RIVER. WHEN WE FELT A TUG ON THE
END WE WOULD LIFT A TINY NEEDLE FISH OUT OF THE WATER. THE TINY
FISH WOULD SWALLOW THE ANT AND GET CAUGHT ON THE WEB."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CAMPUS

James Callow Keyword(s): THAI FISHING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 02-00-1984

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FISHY FISHY IN THE BROOK
COME AND BITE MY LITTLE HOOK
DAD WILL CATCH YOU
IF HE CAN
MOM WILL FRY YOU
IN A PAN

Submitter comment: INFORMANT FIRST HEARD THIS FROM HER PARENTS WHILE ON
VACATION IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN. THEY WOULD SING IT WHEN
THEY WENT FISHING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HOUGHTON LAKE

Keyword(s): FISHING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Good humor Jest

Date learned: 00001930S

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WEATHER RHYMES

MACKEREL SKY,
RAIN IS NIGH.

Where learned: HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): FISH

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

Date learned: 09-07-1969

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