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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WHEN YOU SEE A CHIMNEY SWEEP, QUICKLY PULL OFF A BUTTON FROM YOUR
CLOTHING TO PREVENT BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT FOUND THIS AMUSING BUT IMPRACTICAL.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; LINCOLN PARK

Keyword(s): CONVERSION ; HOME, DOMESTIC PURSUITS ; OCCUPATIONS: CHIMNEY SWEEPING

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.22

Date learned: 10-08-1971

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Custom

Chimney Sweep:

In Belgium, or Europe for that matter, each house usually had two or more chimneys. Since they needed cleaning periodically, chimney sweeps were common. Some of these were employed by the cities for the purpose. But, in each case, it was good practice to give the sweeper a good tip, for if you didn't he would play tricks on you. For instance, he might come back to clean your chimney at a future date, but not tell you. Then you would be unprepared and the soot would come into the house because you didn't close the soot door in time.

Submitter comment:

Recorded on Tape

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [M848] crossed out and replaced with F534

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): BUSINESS ; Chimney Sweep ; CUSTOM ; Gratuity ; OCCUPATIONS: CHIMNEY SWEEPING ; PRACTICAL JOKE ; TIPPING ; WORK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business

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Proverb

New brooms sweep clean.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; BROOM ; Clean ; Maxim ; METAPHOR ; PROVERB ; Sweep ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Proverb

New brooms sweep clean.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

`

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; BROOM ; Clean ; Maxim ; METAPHOR ; PROVERB ; Sweep ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Proverb

A new broom always sweeps clean.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; BROOM ; Clean ; Maxim ; New ; PROVERB ; Sweep ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Proverb

A new broom sweeps clean.

Submitter comment:

Proverbial Metaphor

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; BROOM ; Maxim ; PROVERB ; Sweep ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO SWEEP DIRT OUT OF DOORS AFTER SUNDOWN.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 09-01-11

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; BELZONI

Keyword(s): BAD LUCK ; LUCK ; Out ; Outdoors ; Sundown ; SUNSET ; Sweep

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 11-22-1972

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IF SOMEONE SWEEPS UNDER THE BED WHILE THE NEW MOTHER IS
"LYING IN," SHE WILL BECOME WEAK.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 09-01-11

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; BELZONI

Keyword(s): Bed ; BELIEF ; BIRTH ; Energy ; Labor ; Lying In ; PREGNANCY ; STRENGTH ; Sweep ; Weakness

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness P740.542

Date learned: 06-06-1973

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IF SOMEONE SWEEP UNDER A GIRL'S FEET, SHE'LL BE AN OLD
MAID.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; CORNERSVILLE

Keyword(s): Girl ; Maid ; MARRIAGE ; Old ; SUPERSTITION ; Sweep

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

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IF A SMALL CHILD NOT OLD ENOUGH TO, STARTS SWEEPING,
SOMEONE'LL COME VISITING.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; CORNERSVILLE

Keyword(s): AGE ; CHILD ; OMEN ; SIGN ; Sweep ; Visit

James Callow Keyword(s): AGE

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

Date learned: 00001972-00001973 (ASSUMED)

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SUPERSTITION

THERE IS A RIGHT AND WRONG WAY TO SWEEP YOUR FLOOR. YOU ARE SUPPOSED
TO SWEEP TOWARD THE BACK DOOR AND NOT THE FRONT DOOR.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Keyword(s): ; Back ; DIRECTION ; Domesticity ; Door ; Dust ; Front ; HOUSECLEANING ; SUPERSTITION ; Sweep

James Callow Keyword(s): INTERNAL RHYME ; OPPOSITES ; POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Daily Life

Date learned: 11-10-1970

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SUPERSTITION

DO NOT SWEEP FLOORS AFTER THE LIGHTS ARE LIT IN THE HOME.
THIS WOULD MEAN SWEEPING HEALTH AND WEALTH FOR THE FAMILY OUT.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; WESTCHESTER

Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; Domesticity ; Housekeeping ; Lights ; LUCK ; SUPERSTITION ; Sweep

James Callow Keyword(s): BROOM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- P87O
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 10-26-1968

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BELIEF

ONE MUST NEVER SWEEP TOWARD A DOOR.
YOU MUST SWEEP TOWARDS THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM TO PREVENT YOURSELF
FROM SWEEPING OUT MONEY AND GOOD FORTUNE OUT THE DOOR.

Submitter comment:

A BELIEF PASSED DOWN FROM GRANDFATHER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: DETROIT ; MI

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CLEANLINESS ; DIRECTION ; Domesticity ; fortune ; Housekeeping ; LUCK ; SUPERSTITION ; Sweep

James Callow Keyword(s): BROOM ; DIRECTION ; POSITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: 09-20-1967

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IT IS GOOD LUCK TO SHAKE THE HAND OF A CHIMNEY SWEEP.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Chimney ; Communication ; CUSTOM ; GREETING ; Hands ; LUCK ; Shake Hands ; SUPERSTITION ; Sweep

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.22

Date learned: 03-14-1970

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showing 14 items

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