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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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TRUE RIDDLE

Q: IT IS BLACK AND WHITE AND RED ALL OVER.
A: AN EMBARRASSED ZEBRA.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; RENO HALL LOBBY

Keyword(s): ANIMAL (A) ; LITERAL ; NATURAL PHENOMENON (Q) COLOR

James Callow Keyword(s): NEWSPAPER RIDDLE, VARIAN OF ; SPELLING: RED FOR READ

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-01-1968

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RIDDLE VERSE

Q: OLD MOTHER TWITCHETT HAD BUT ONE EYE, / AND A LONG TAIL WHICH
SHE LET FLY;/ AND EVERY TIME SHE WENT THROUGH A GAP,/ A BIT OF HER
TAIL SHE LEFT IN A TRAP.
A: A NEEDLE

Data entry tech comment: ANOTHER EXAMPLE IS IN THE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WYANDOTTE

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; HARDWARE (Q) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PERSONS (Q)

James Callow Keyword(s): LONG TAIL= THREAD

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

Date learned: 11-12-1968

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LENTEN BIBLE

DURING LENT, EVERYNIGHT MY FATHER HAD US CHILDREN, EACH TAKING
TURNS, READING ALOUD TO THE ENTIRE FAMILY FROM THE BIBLE OR FROM OUR
BIBLE HISTORY FOR ABOUT HALF AN HOUR.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Keyword(s): SPIRITUAL READING

Subject headings: 663 Lent
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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HALF A LOAF IS BETTER THAN NONE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FOOD (BREAD) METAPHOR ; METONYMY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-20-1965

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IF YOU EAT BREAD CRUSTS YOU WILL HAVE BLACK CURLY HAIR.

Submitter comment: IN AN ATTEMPT TO CURE MY BLOND HAIR,
MY GRANDMOTHER WOULD TELL ME THIS AS A CHILD.
BLACK HAIR IS CONSIDERED THE LOVELIEST FEATURE
A ROMANIAN WOMAN CAN HAVE AND HAS BEEN CONSIDERED SO FOR GENERATIONS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BREAD ; ETHNIC SUPERSTITION ; HAIR COLOR ; ROMANIAN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak

Date learned: 11-26-1971

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POLISH GOOD LUCK SYMBOL OF OPLATET [OPLATEK]

BREAKING OF UNLEAVENED BREAD BETWEEN
PEOPLE AT CHRISTMAS EVE MEAL TO
SIGNIFY GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): BREAD ; FOOD CUSTOM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.82

Date learned: 11-10-1968

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CHRISTMAS EVE BREAD

OPLATKI-(O PWAT'KEY) - IS UNLEAVE[NE]D BREAD WHICH NUNS MAKE IN
POLAND FOR CHRISTMAS EVE. IT HAS A NATIVITY IMPRINT ON IT. THE
HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD AND HIS MATE BREAK ONE PIECE INTO TWO HALVES,
THE CHILDREN THEN WISH EACH OTHER HEALTH, WEALTH, ETC. SOME OF
THESE PEOPLE SET A PLACE FOR STRANGERS.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT LEARNED FROM PARENTS.

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM ; UNLEAVENED BREAD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.82

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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CLOSED BOOK

IF YOU KEEP YOUR BOOK CLOSED YOU'RE A DUMMY. TRANSLATION OF
LIBRO CERRADO NO SACA LETRADO.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THROUGH HIS STUDY OF SPANISH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): LAZY STUDENT

James Callow Keyword(s): METONYMY: BOOK FOR BOOKS ; READING

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-05-1967

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RIDDLE

WHY ARE MOST OFFICES CONSIDERED OVENS?
BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE A LOT OF PEOPLE MAKE THEIR BREAD.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

James Callow Keyword(s): SLANG: BREAD = MONEY

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 05-00-1990

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Question: What is black and white and red all over?
Answer: A newspaper.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Pun on read - red.

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle
RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00001970S

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A BABY WILL BE BORN WITH POOR EYESIGHT IF HIS MOTHER READ
DURING HER PREGNANCY WITH HIM.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; GEORGETOWN

James Callow Keyword(s): READING

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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Custom

Greetings:

Offering salt and bread and flowers is a way of greeting a person who has arrived from a long trip. This custom is one which was performed commonly in S.E. Poland and in Ukraine many years ago (prior to WWI) at that time it was used to greet any traveler regardless of his social position. Now recently it is used only in greeting people like priests, bishops, government officials, etc.

Submitter comment:

Although informant mentioned that this custom is carried out in Europe, I myself have observed this several months ago when people in a Ukrainian church greeted a bishop which had just been released from prison by the Russians.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN HEIGHTS

Keyword(s): CUSTOM ; FLOWERS ; GREETING ; POLAND ; Salt, Bread ; Social Class ; Ukraine

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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Custom

Ukrainians have a custom of greeting honored guests with bread and salt. The host or hostess, carrying a plate with a loaf of bread and a mound of salt on top of it, meets the guest at the door with proper salutations, in expression of greetings & hospitality. Newlyweds are installed in their new home with a ritual of bread and salt.

Submitter comment:

Today this custom is used only by organizations when greeting individuals of great distinction.

Data entry tech comment:

Motif added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN ; MOTHER

Keyword(s): BREAD, Salt ; CUSTOM ; DOMESTIC RELATIONS ; ETHNIC ; MARRIAGE ; Salt, Bread ; Social Rank ; SOCIAL RELATIONS ; UKRAINIAN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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Proverb

Half a loaf is better than none.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Located in pile marked Duplicates and Other Rejects.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): Appreciation ; BREAD ; loaf ; METAPHOR

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Proverb

Fools rush in, where wise men fear to tread.

Submitter comment:

From memory - traditional

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [V600] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; Discretion ; Fool ; Fools ; Forethought ; Maxim ; PROVERB ; PRUDENCE ; RUSH ; Tread ; VERSE ; WISDOM ; Wise

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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riddle

Question: What's black and white and red all over?

Answer: A newspaper.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Black ; COLOR ; Homophone ; Language ; NEWSPAPER ; PLAY ON WORDS ; PUN ; Read ; Red ; RIDDLE ; White ; WORDPLAY

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

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Food: Recipe

Cracklin-Bread:

Take hog skins and render in a hot oven. Pour off the grease. Put through a grinder and season cornbread with it. Bake in hot oven.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): Bake ; BREAD ; COOK ; Cornbread ; Cracklin ; Fat ; FOOD ; Grease ; Hog ; Pig ; RECIPE ; SKIN

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Cereal

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Food: Recipe

Plain Gingerbread:

1 cup dark cooking molasses

1 cup sour cream

1 egg

1 teaspoon soda, dissolved in a little warm water

1 teaspoon salt

1 heaping teapoon ginger

Make about as thick as a cupcake. To be eaten warm.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): Baking ; FOOD ; Gingerbread ; RECIPE

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Pastry Sweet Dessert

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Prose Narrative Tale

Prose Narrative Tale:

Folktale of New England -- The Gingerbread Man.

Children's story of a runaway cookie including repeated theme: "rubn, run, as fast as you can. Can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread man."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs Added by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Bookhouse Volume One

Keyword(s): CATCH ; CHILDREN ; Cookie ; Fast ; Gingerbread ; Gingerbread Man ; Legend ; Narrative ; New England ; Prose ; REGIONAL ; Run ; Tale

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale

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Saying

If you are serarated from the person you are walking with by a pole say "bread and butter."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs Added By TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P880] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Keyword(s): BREAD ; Butter ; Pole ; Saying ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

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