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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK VERSE

WHEN YOU GET MARRIED AND HAVE A TOT,
SEND ME A LETTER FOR A PE-PE POT.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): EUPHEMISM: PE-PE POT FOR CHILD'S TOILET BABY

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Matrimony

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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CHINESE PROVERB

ALL THE FLOWERS OF ALL THE TOMORROWS ARE IN THE SEEDS OF TODAY.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; WEST SENECA

Keyword(s): PLANTS

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTRAST ; DESTINY ; HEREDITY? ; ITERATION ; POTENTIAL

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-00-1969

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK VERSE

WHEN YOU GET MARRIED AND HAVE A TOT,
SEND ME A LETTER FOR A PE-PE POT.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BABY ; EUPHEMISM: PE-PE POT FOR CHILD'S TOILET

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Matrimony

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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FOOD-VEGETABLE

IN THE OLD WEST A MAN ORDERED FRIED POTATOES CUT VERY THIN. WHEN
THE COOK BROUGHT OUT THE POTATOES, THE MAN COMPLAINED THAT THEY
WERE NOT THIN ENOUGH. THE COOK GOT SO MAD THAT HE RETURNED TO THE
KITCHEN AND CUT UP THE POTATOES RAZOR THIN AND FRIED THEM UP.
THE MAN THOUGHT THEY WERE DELICIOUS. THUS THE POTATO CHIP.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; NEWARK

Keyword(s): ORIGIN OF A FOOD ; ORIGIN OF A SNACK: THE POTATO CHIP

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
Food Drink -- Manner of preparation Process
Food Drink -- Plant food Cereal

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RIDDLE

DO YOU KNOW WHAT WEIGHS 1000 POUNDS AND WEARS A FLOWER
BEHIND ITS EAR? ANSWER: A HIPPIPOTOMUS

Data entry tech comment: A HIPPIE WAS SOMEONE WHO REBELLED AGAINST THE ESTABLISHMENT

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HIPPOPOTOMUS

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 03-00-1968

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FLY RIDDLE

THERE ARE THREE FLIES IN THE BATHROOM. WHICH ONE IS THE DRUG
ADDICT? THE ONE ON THE POT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Mount Clemens

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN ON POT (FOR MARIHUANA)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 10-00-1981

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"M'AN COCO POTE D'ENFER" IS A WOMAN WHO LIVES IN AN UNDERWATER
CAVE, AND IT IS BELIEVED THAT SHE ATTACKS FISHERMEN AND DIVERS.

Submitter comment: SOME PEOPLE SAID THAT THEY HAVE BEEN IN HER UNDERWATER CAVE, AND
WHAT THEY SAW WAS A HUGE TABLE FULL OF DISHES.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Keyword(s): "M'AN COCO" MEANS "MADAME COCO". "POTE D'ENFER" MEANS "HELL'S GATE" ; SUPPOSELY THAT IS WHERE SHE LIVES. ; WHICH IS THE NAME OF THE NORTHERN EXTREMITY OF GUADELOUPE, AND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Supernatural Being

Date learned: 00-00-1966

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WHY DID THE BLACK MAN WEAR A TUXEDO TO HIS VASECTOMY?
ANSWER. IF I'M GONNA BE IMPOTENT I MIGHT AS WELL LOOK
IMPOTENT.

Submitter comment: I GOT THIS JOKE FROM THE MOVIE "SOUL MAN." IT WAS TOLD
BY TWO WHITE GUYS IN FRONT OF A BLACK GUY TO MAKE HIM
FEEL BAD.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): IMPOTENT- USED INSTEAD OF THE WORD IMPORTANT TO MAKE ; THE BLACK MAN'S SPEECH SEEM BAD.

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- BLAC

Date learned: 10-00-1987

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Superstition, non-Christian

Each evening, after dinner but before dark, pound around the
foundations of the house with a hammer to expel evil spirits.
Then draw a line in the ground around the house with a butcher
knife to prevent them from returning.

Submitter comment: The informant reports that the woman observed doing this (name
forgotten) was wealthy and a poet, but reviled her neighbors
for contaminating her with their Christianity.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Apotropaic Ritual

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Devil Demon

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White toed sox

A good luck charm to ward off bad gremlins, was socks with
white toes. The Irish say that these socks will keep a person from
being tripped by "little people."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): Apotropaic clothing

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 00001969S

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Meanings of the Pentacle

The following again was told to me by Carol, who has been a
practicing witch. She was a member of a coven based in Michigan.

The pentacle has a rich history in the magical and spiritual customs
of many cultures. In Greece it was the symbol of Demeter's daughter
Kore, the goddess of vegetation and the fruits of the field, because
the apple contains a star composed of five seeds in its core.
Pythagorean mystics honored the pentacle, which they called
"Pentalpha", because it consisted of five interwoven alphas: the Greek
letter "A", which stood for birth and beginnings. In Egypt a
five-pointed star represented the great underground womb of Mother
Earth. The Celtic tribes also saw it as a sign of the Goddess of the
Underworld, Morgan. In Babylon the pentacle was an amulet of
protection and healing. In Judeo-Christian traditions the pentacle
was the first of the Seven Seals, which represented the secret name of
God; and King Solomon wore a pentacle on his ring as a sign of his
power to work magic. Among the old European tribespeople the pentacle
represented the Horned God, a shapeshifter who had five
manifestations: a human, a bull, a ram, a goat, and a stag.

The star is always drawn with one continuous stroke, with one point
upright.

James Callow comment: Puckett, Ohio, no. 25634: "Five fingers or anything to do with
five will protect you from the evil eye (Moslem)."

Puckett, Ohio, no. 26650: "Find the sign of the Pantagram on your
hand, you will be a victim of the werewolf."

Hand, North Carolina, no. 6027: "The claim for five (as "nearly
always" a lucky number) is not borne out in the literature, except,
perhaps for certain North American Indian tribes."

Cannon, Utah: "Five and multiples of five are lucky" (no. 11557);
"The five fingers of the hand, or any design or phrase associated with
the number five will protect against bad

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MANCHESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): Five as apotropaic number.

Subject headings: 686 Fifths
686 Seven / Sevenths / Several

Date learned: 01-00-1992

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Custom

Pounding a preacher is a Methodist custom of welcoming a new preacher by having a fellowship supper and at the end surprising him with the homemade gifts each person has brought.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Covered ; CUSTOM ; Dish ; Fellowship ; FOOD ; Gathering ; GIFTS ; Homemade ; Potluck ; Pounding ; Preacher ; RITUAL ; Supper ; SURPRISE ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church

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Custom

Fellowship Supper is a custom that Methodists have of a covered dish supper.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Community ; Covered ; CUSTOM ; Dish ; Fellowship ; FOOD ; Gathering ; Methodist ; Potluck ; RELIGION ; RITUAL ; Supper

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church

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Entertainment: Game

A method children use to select teams or "it" is for everyone to hold out both fists and someone counts off on each fist"one-potato, two-potato, three-potato, four. Five-potato, six-potato, seven-potato more." The first fist on which "more" lands must be put behind back. The winner (or loser) can either be the first or last person to have both fists behind his back.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Choose ; COUNTING ; Elimination ; Entertainment ; Fists ; GAME ; POTATO

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School

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PROVERB

THAT WENT OVER LIKE A HOT POTATOE.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; LOUISVILLE

Keyword(s): POTATO

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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TOO MANY COOKS SPOIL THE POT.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): POT?

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 09-15-1967

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Potus Sack

In Ireland, people wear potus sacks around their neck to ward off illness.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Holistic ; ILLNESS ; IRELAND ; MEDICINE ; Potus

James Callow Keyword(s): ILLNESS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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Custom

Good Friday and Planting Custom:

Potatoe [sic] seeds should be planted, if at all possible, on Good Friday.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [F663] has been crossed out and replaced with F535

Where learned: HOME ; NEW YORK ; LeRoy

Keyword(s): AGRICULTURE ; CUSTOM ; FARMING ; Good Friday ; HARVEST ; PLANT VEGETABLE ; POTATO ; Religious Holiday ; VEGETABLE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535

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Entertainment: Game

Variations of "one potato, two potato" method of choosing "it':

(Rhyme is chanted by one person as all the children stand in a circle with both fists in front, thums up. The person taps each fist in the circle of fists, not neglecting his own. I will indicate the words correcponding to the taps by partial underlining.)

One potato, two potao, three potato, four.

Five potato, six potato, seven potato, more.

The first hit on more is put behind the back and the rhyme continues until only one fist remains, this person being "it.")

Submitter comment:

My mother learned this rhyme in her grammar school days in Detroit.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [C570.560, C300.021] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHILDHOOD ; Elimination ; Entertainment ; GAME ; POTATO ; RHYME

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

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Entry filtered.

Belief: Animal

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

Belief in Oysters:

Oysters make a man sexually potent.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P500, N245.8] crossed out. Replaced with current classifications

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; APHRODISIAC ; BELIEF ; Male ; Oysters ; Potent ; Prowess ; SEX ; Sexuality ; SHELLFISH ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
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