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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THERE WAS A YOUNG MAN FROM THE CITY,
WHO MET WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS A KITTY.
HE GAVE IT A PAT
AND SAID, "NICE LITTLE CAT!"
THEY BURIED HIS CLOTHES OUT OF PITY.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): FUNCTION AND GENRE: LIMERICK ; HUMOR ; NUTSHELL NARRATIVE ANTICLIMAX QUINTAIN ; RHYME: AABBA, FEMININE ; SKUNK ; SOUND: DACTYLIC TETRAMETER ; SUBJECT: ACCIDENTS, ANIMALS ; UNDERSTATEMENT IRONY

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

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WHEN YOU ARE OLD AND ABOUT TO DIE,
CALL ME UP SO I CAN CRY.
(TELEPHONE NUMBER).

Where learned: SCHOOL ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANTICLIMAX IRONY COUPLET ; AUTOGRAPH VERSE? ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; PREPARATION FOR DEATH OLD AGE FRIENDSHIP ; RHYME: MASCULINE

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE MONKEY'S DISGRACE

THREE MONKEYS SAT UNDER A COCONUT TREE,
DISCUSSING THINGS AS THEY ARE TO BE.
SAID ONE TO THE OTHER, NOW LISTEN YOU TWO,
THERE IS A CERTAIN RUMOR THAT CANNOT BE TRUE.
THAT MAN DESCENDED FROM OUR NOBLE RACE,
THE VERY IDEA IS A DISGRACE.
NO MONKEY EVER DESERTED HIS WIFE,
STARVED A BABY OR RUINED A LIFE,
AND YOU HAVE NEVER KNOWN A MOTHER MONK
TO LEAVE HER BABIES WITH OTHERS TO BUNK.
OR PASS THEM ON FROM ONE TO ANOTHER
TILL THEY SCARCELY KNOW WHO IS THEIR MOTHER.
ANOTHER THING YOU WILL NEVER SEE;
A MONK TO BUILD A FENCE AROUND A COCONUT TREE.
AND LET THE COCONUTS GO TO WASTE,
FORBIDDING ALL OTHER MONKS TO TASTE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): IRONY SARCASM ; JUDGMENT ON HUMAN RACE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.327

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TEACHER SUPERSTITION

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS MAKE THE WORST PARENTS.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM FELLOW TEACHERS AND SOME OF HER OWN STUDENTS IN
YONKERS, NEW YORK.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business

Date learned: 12-29-1963

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THE ICE CUBE STORY

THERE WAS THIS GUY BY THE NAME OF SAM, AND SAM HAD A JOB DELIVERING
ICE CUBES. SAM HAD BEEN DOING THIS JOB FOR 20 YEARS OR SO AND WAS
PRETTY HAPPY WITH IT. ONE DAY THE ICE CUBE COMPANY GOT AN ORDER FROM
THE HOTEL IN TOWN FOR 1000 ICE CUBES AND SAM WENT OUT TO THE ICE
HOUSE AND COUNTED OUT THE CUBES AND LOADED THEM ON HIS TRUCK. THEN
HE STARTED OUT FOR THE HOTEL. ON THE WAY THERE A BUS RAN INTO HIS
TRUCK AND SCATTERED THE ICE CUBES ALL OVER THE STREET. POOR SAM
GOT OUT AND PICKED UP ALL THE CUBES AND COUNTED THEM. HE WAS
RELIEVED TO FIND THAT ALL 1000 CUBES WERE THERE, AND SINCE THE
TRUCK WAS STILL DRIVABLE, HE GOT BACK IN AND CONTINUED ON HIS WAY
TO THE HOTEL. WELL, JUST AS HE WAS ABOUT THERE, IN FACT, WITHIN
A BLOCK OF THE PLACE ANOTHER DELIVERY TRUCK HIT HIM. WELL, SAM GOT
OUT AND AGAIN BEGAN TO COUNT THE CUBES. THIS TIME WHEN HE FINISHED
THERE WERE ONLY 999. SAM THOUGHT TO HIMSELF, IT'S BEEN A TOUGH DAY.
I COULD EASILY HAVE MISCOUNTED. BESIDES, WHO'S GOING TO MISS ONE
ICE CUBE IN A THOUSAND. SO HE DELIVERED THE CUBES AND WENT HOME
AND THOUGHT NO MORE ABOUT IT. THE NEXT MORNING, EARLY, HE GOT A
PHONE CALL FROM HIS BOSS AT THE CUBE COMPANY, AND HE SAID, SAM,
THERE'S SOMETHING WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT, CAN YOU COME DOWN RIGHT
AWAY. SAM SAID, SURE, I'LL BE RIGHT OVER, AND HE DROVE DOWN TO THE
COMPANY NOT PARTICULARLY WORRIED SINCE AS I'VE SAID HE WORKED
THERE FOR 20 YEARS. WELL, HE WALKED IN TO THE BOSS'S OFFICE AND THE
BOSS SAID, SAM, YESTERDAY YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO DELIVER A THOUSAND
ICE CUBES
TO THE HOTEL AND YOU ONLY DELIVERED 999. I'M SORRY, YOU'RE FIRED.
THIS ONE IS TOLD FIRST AND THEN THE OTHER WITH ONE OR TWO OTHERS TOLD
IN BETWEEN. THE ICE CUBE IS THEN FOUND IN THE DOG'S MOUTH.

{HERE IS STORY NO. 701604-17.}
THE NEWLY WED COUPLE
A MAN AND A WOMAN HAD BEEN MARRIED FOR A WHILE, AND THEY
WERE JUST ABOUT TO THE POINT WHERE THE HONEYMOON WAS OVER. IN THE
COURSE OF THEIR MARRIAGE THE HUSBAND HAD PICKED UP ONE HABIT THAT
REALLY ANNOYED THE WIFE AND THE WIFE HAD ONE THING THAT THE HUSBAND
COULD NOT STAND. THE HUSBAND'S WAS THAT HE WOULD SMOKE THESE BIG
BLACK CIGARS AND THE WIFE'S WAS AN UGLY POODLE THAT SHE HAD MANICURED
AND CUT AND SO FORTH . ONE TIME THEY WENT ON A VACATION TOGETHER AND
SINCE IT WAS COLD OUT THEY HAD TO KEEP THE WINDOWS ROLLED UP. THE
HUSBAND WAS SMOKING AWAY AND THE WIFE SAID, IF YOU DON'T PUT OUT THAT
CIGAR I'M GOING TO TAKE IT AND THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW. THE HUSBAND
SAID, IF YOU DO THAT I'LL TAKE THAT DOG OUT OF THE BACK SEAT AND
THROW HIM OUT THE WINDOW. WELL, THEY DROVE ON IN SILENCE FOR ABOUT
30 MILES UNTIL THE WIFE COULDN'T TAKE IT ANY LONGER, AND SHE REACHED
OVER, GRABBED THE CIGAR, AND THREW IT OUT THE WINDOW. THE HUSBAND
THEN REACHED BACK AND GRABBED THE DOG OUT OF THE BACK SEAT AND THREW
IT OUT THE WINDOW. THEY DROVE ON AND COMPLETED THEIR VACATION IN
SILENCE. ABOUT TWO MONTHS LATER THEY WERE SITTING AT HOME , STILL
NOT TALKING TO EACH OTHER, WHEN THEY HEARD A SCRATCHING AT THE DOOR.
THEY WENT TO THE DOOR AND OPENED IT AND SURE ENOUGH THERE WAS THE
POODLE AND HE HAD SOMETHING IN HIS MOUTH, WHAT DO YOU THINK IT WAS?
RIGHT, IT WAS THE ICE CUBE.

Submitter comment: THIS STORY IS USED IN CONNECTION WITH SEQUENCE NUMBER 701604-17.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY PESSIMISM

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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CRY, BABY, CRY.
STICK YOUR FINGER IN YOUR EYE.
TELL YOUR MOTHER IT WASN'T I.

Submitter comment: THIS IS RECITED TO SHAME CHILDREN WHO ARE CRYING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION ; RHYME: AAA ; VERBAL IRONY

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

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DON'T IRON YOUR HUSBAND'S SHIRT TAIL. HE WILL LEAVE YOU.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONING DESERTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 09-08-1972

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT MUST BE DONE TO HAVE SOFT HANDS?
A: NOTHING.

Submitter comment: TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (A) ; LITERAL ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) HANDS

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

AGAINST THE VICE OF BEGGING, THERE IS THE VIRTUE OF NOT GIVING.
CONTRA EL VICIO DE PEDIR, HAY LA VIRTUO DE NO DAR. (SPANISH)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTRAST ; IRONY ; TRANSLATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 10-05-1967

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SMOKING

ANYONE CAN QUIT SMOKING, BUT IT TAKES A MAN TO FACE CANCER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CUSTOM

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: NEGATIVE ; FUNCTION ; IRONY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1969

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SARCASTIC PROVERB

ANYTHING WORTH DOING IS WORTH DOING HALF-ASSED.

Submitter comment: THIS SAYING IS USUALLY APPLIED TO SOMEONE ABOUT TO UNDERTAKE A
PROJECT FOR WHICH THERE IS LITTLE ENTHUSIASM, I.E., A SOCIAL SERVICE
PROJECT, SCHOOL PROJECT, ETC.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HUMAN BODY

James Callow Keyword(s): PARODY IRONY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 02-10-1970

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COMPARISON

AS GRACEFUL AS A BULL IN A CHINA SHOP.

Data entry tech comment: VARIANT

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; DEFINITION ; HUMAN CREATION

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY CLUMSINESS

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

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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PROVERBIAL COMPARISON

AS INDEPENDENT AS A HOG ON ICE.

Where learned: HIS HOME

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; CLIMATE ; DEFINITION

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY?

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 10-22-1968

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PROVERB

AS LIFE, SO DEATH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CONTRAST ; ELLIPSIS ; IRONY

James Callow Keyword(s): INEVITABILITY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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OLD JEWISH SAYING

ASK FOR A WOMAN'S ADVICE AND DO THE OPPOSITE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANTIFEMINISM

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY ; PARADOX ; SEXISM

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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OAK

AS THE TWIG IS BENT, SO IS THE OAK INCLINED.

Submitter comment: REFERS TO CHILD RAISING, THE TWIG BEING THE CHILD, THE OAK, THE
ADULT.

Where learned: SENT BY LETTER

Keyword(s): PLANT

James Callow Keyword(s): COMPARISON ; ENVIRONMENT ; EXAMPLE ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 11-06-1970

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PROVERB

CONSCIENCE IS THE SMALL INNER VOICE THAT TELLS YOU INTERNAL REVENUE
MIGHT CHECK YOUR RETURNS.

Submitter comment: WHY FOLKLORE?

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): DEFINITION ; ECONOMICS

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY ; PARODY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 04-00-1968

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PROVERBIAL COMPARISON

CRAZY LIKE A FOX.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TRAVERSE CITY

Keyword(s): ANIMAL

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY

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

Date learned: 02-21-1970

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PROVERB

THE CRUELEST LIES ARE OFTEN TOLD IN SILENCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ALLITERATION ; IRONY

James Callow Keyword(s): PARADOX ; SIN OF OMISSION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 10-00-1971

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DOCTORS' PHILOSOPHY

DOCTORS ALWAYS BURY THEIR MISTAKES.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD

James Callow Keyword(s): INCOMPETENCY ; IRONY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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