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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SEE MY FINGER, SEE MY THUMB,
SEE MY FIST, YOU BETTER RUN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BULLY ; DIALECT ; ELLIPSIS, SURPRISE ENDING ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; MONOLOGUE UNDERSTATEMENT FIGHTING ; RHYME: MASCULINE ; THREAT

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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SCARE

SEE MY FINGER, SEE MY THUMB,
SEE MY FIST, YOU BETTER RUN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS

Keyword(s): BULLY ; ELLIPSIS, SURPRISE ENDING ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; MONOLOGUE UNDERSTATEMENT DIALECT FIGHTING ; RHYME: MASCULINE ; THREAT

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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CHEER

UMBA SASSA, UMBA SASSA,
HIT 'EM IN DA HEAD WITH A BIG KILBASA.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT USED IN POLISH HIGH SCHOOL.

Data entry tech comment: KIELBASA=POLISH SAUSAGE

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Keyword(s): DIALECT, SLANG THREAT FOOD ; METER: TROCHAIC ; RHYME: FEMININE

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

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AUTOGRAPH VERSE

MM[ I LOVE YOU A BUSHEL
I LOVE YOU A PECK
IF YOU DON'T LOVE ME
I'LL BREAK YOUR NECK

Submitter comment: FROM INFORMANT'S AUTOGRAPH BOOK 1956

Where learned: NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): IRREGULAR TWO-STRESS METER ; RHYME: ABCB ; THREAT

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Humorous allusion to love

Date learned: 00-00-1956

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CHANGE YOUR PLACE AT THE TABLE, AND YOU'LL CHANGE
YOUR BOARDING HOUSE.

Where learned: LETTER

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION ; THREAT?

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.

Date learned: 01-30-1970

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WHAT DO YOU WANT?

THIS IS SAID IN A JOKING MANNER TO SOMEONE WHO IS BEING A NUISANCE.
WHAT DO YOU WANT, SIX MONTHS IN A HOSPITAL (SHAKE LEFT FIST AT
PERSON), OR SUDDEN DEATH (SHAKE RIGHT FIST AT PERSON)?

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; PORT HURON

James Callow Keyword(s): THREAT CHOICE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 09-18-1972

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CHILDREN'S VERSE

ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLACK, / IF I HAD A KNIFE, I'D STICK IT IN
YOUR BACK.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; DORM ; UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR

James Callow Keyword(s): THREAT

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

Date learned: 09-23-1972

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

A BARKING DOG NEVER BITES.

Where learned: WARREN ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): ALLITERATION ; ANIMAL

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; THREATS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 11-04-1968

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE.

Submitter comment: PEOPLE WHO MAKE THE MOST NOISE NEVER DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ALLITERATION ; ANIMAL

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; THREATS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 11-06-1971

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PROVERB

HUND AS GAUTZE BEISSE NET.
A BARKING DOG SELDOM BITES. (TRANSLATION)

Data entry tech comment: TRANS INACCURATE.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; READING

Keyword(s): ANIMAL

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; THREATS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1964

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PROVERB

DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): ALLITERATION

James Callow Keyword(s): DEATH ; OBSERVATION ; THREATS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PROVERB

BOX YOUR EARS IN.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Keyword(s): HUMAN CREATIONS

James Callow Keyword(s): REFERS TO BEATING OR PUNCHING ; THREAT

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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MY BROTHER AND I USED TO VIST MY FATHER'S PARENTS IN DETROIT
DURING THE SUMMER AND ATTEND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WITH THEM.
MY GRANDFATHER USED TO KID US THAT THERE MIGHT BE A SMELLING-OUT
ANY SUNDAY, AT WHICH TIME WE WOULD BE EXPOSED TO SOME
UNKNOWN HORROR.

James Callow Keyword(s): THREAT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: 03-09-1971

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TREE BELIEF

IF A TREE DOES NOT BEAR FRUIT, FOLLOW THIS PROCEDURE:
GO OUT IN YOUR GARDEN ONE NIGHT, PREFERABLY IN A FULL MOON
AND CARRY A SHARP KNIFE WITH YOU. TAKE THE KNIFE
AND STRIKE THE
TREE THREE TIMES. AFTER EACH CHOP, REPEAT THE WORDS, TREE
BEAR FRUIT, WITH A STERN VOICE. THE NEXT YEAR ON THAT SAME DAY,
THE TREE WILL BEGIN TO BEAR FRUIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): THREAT?

Subject headings: 686 686.1
Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 09-20-1969

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A LATE BATH

THIS IS TOLD TO YOUNG CHILDREN: IF YOU DO NOT TAKE YOUR
BATH EARLY YOU WILL SEE THE WATER MOVING AROUND AS A GHOST
IN THE TUB.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): THREAT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 10-00-1967

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BOOGIEMAN BELIEF

WHEN I WAS A KID, MY PARENTS USED TO TELL ME THAT OLD UNCLE
GEORGE WAS THIS GHOST THAT LIVED IN THE BASEMENT AND
THAT HE WOULD COME UP AT NIGHT AND EAT ME ALIVE IF I WAS BAD.

Submitter comment: I USED TO HAVE A PICTURE IN MY MIND OF WHAT OLD GEORGE LOOKED
LIKE, HE WAS BIG AND DUMB LIKE JETHRO- OF THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES
TELEVISION SHOW.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CANNIBALISM ; THREAT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 10-02-1970

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LEGEND

IF YOU WERE A BAD BOY WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG AND YOUR PARENTS
COULDN'T CONTROL YOU THEY WOULD SEND YOU AWAY TO THIS OLD
MAN'S HOUSE WHERE HE WOULD BEAT YOU AND MAKE YOU LISTEN. YOUR
PARENTS WOULD ALSO CALL HIM ON THE PHONE AND TELL HIM
YOU WERE
BAD AND HE WOULD COME TO YOUR HOUSE IF YOUR PARENTS WANTED HIM.
HIS NAME WAS MR. SKEEZIX. TO GET Y,OU TO OBEY YOUR PARENTS WOULD
SAY: ' DO YOU WANT ME TO GET MR. SKEEZIX?'
THAT WAS ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU LISTEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HARPER WOODS

James Callow Keyword(s): THREAT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Human Being

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PATTY THE BAG

APPARENTLY IN IRELAND PATTY THE BAG IS A WITCH CREATURE WITH
WHICH CHILDREN ARE THREATENED IF THEY MISBEHAVE.
E.G., IF YOU
DO NOT WATCH OUT, PATTY THE BAG WILL GET YOU.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT HEARD IN HER NATIVE IRELAND.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): THREAT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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TRADITIONAL WORDS

EIGHTY-SIX.

Submitter comment: THE PHRASE WHICH WAS PICKED UP WAS EIGHTY-SIX. TO EIGHTY-SIX
SOMETHING MEANT TO 1, IGNORE IT, OR 2, THROW IT AWAY. THERE IS ALSO
A TRADITIONAL TALE ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF THE TERM. IT IS BELIEVED TO
HAVE COME FROM AN OLD BARTENDER'S TERM. WHEN THE BARTENDER SAW THAT
SOMEONE WAS DRUNK, HE WOULD PASS THE WORD TO EIGHTY-SIX THAT MAN.
THAT WOULD MEAN EITHER CALL THE POLICE, WHOSE ADDRESS WAS 86TH ST.
OR TO GIVE THE MAN 86 PROOF LIQUOR, RATHER THAN 100 PROOF.

Where learned: CALIFORNIA

James Callow Keyword(s): ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE ; NUMBER ; THREAT

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Trade & commerce
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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