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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THUMB WRESTLING

THE GAME OF THUMB WRESTLING IS PLAYED BY TWO PLAYERS.
THE OBJECT OF THE GAME, LIKE IN REGULAR WRESTLING, IS
TO PIN YOUR OPPONENT. THIS IS HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED:
THE PLAYERS INTERLOCK FINGERS WITH THUMBS UP AND FREE,
THEY PLACE THEIR THUMBS TOGETHER, AND THEN WHEN THEY ARE
READY THEY PLACE THUMBS DOWN ON TOP OF THEIR OWN HANDS,
THEN DOWN ON THE OPPONENT'S HAND, AND THEN THEY BEGIN TO
THUMB WRESTLE, TRYING TO PIN THE OTHER PLAYER'S THUMB FOR
THREE SECONDS, WHEN THIS IS DONE THE MATCH IS OVER AND
THE PLAYER WHO HAS PINNED HIS OPPONENT WINS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Lansing

Keyword(s): THUMB GAMES

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

Date learned: 00001980CA

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TO MEAN EVERYTHING IS ALL RIGHT, EXTEND ERECT THUMB
AND CLENCHED FOUR FINGERS.

Where learned: ONTARIO ; CANADA, ASSUMED ; OAKVILLE

Keyword(s): THUMBS UP

Subject headings: SPEECH -- All right O.K.

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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TO BRING GOOD LUCK TO AN ITALIAN (SICILIAN MOSTLY)
CARDPLAYER, YOU TAKE YOUR THUMB, STICK IT STRAIGHT
UP ON HIS HEAD, THEN LET IT FALL, WITH A LITTLE
FORCE AND SAY "NASPOLA!!" THIS BRINGS GOOD LUCK
SUPPOSEDLY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; BLESSING ; Card ; CUSTOM ; GAME ; GESTURE ; Italian ; LUCK ; Naspolta ; SUPERSTITION ; Thumb

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.22

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IN GERMANY INSTEAD OF CROSSING FINGERS FOR GOOD LUCK,
THE PEOPLE HOLD THEIR THUMBS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

James Callow comment:

CLENCHING FIST OVER THE THUMB OF THAT HAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Cross ; Crossing ; CUSTOM ; Finger ; Fingers ; Germany ; GESTURE ; LUCK ; SUPERSTITION ; Thumbs

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.22

Date learned: 10-10-1968

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TO WARD OFF THE "COOTIES" SO COMMON TO ALL GRADE
SCHOOL CHILDREN, A GESTURE OF 2 FISTS TOGETHER WITH THE
THUMBS EXTENDED IS MADE.

Data entry tech comment:

DIAGRAM IS ON 5 X 8 CARD.

Updated By TRD for BN. Card Info Update is Forthcoming.

Where learned: DORM ROOM

Keyword(s): BEHAVIOR ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Classroom ; COOTIES ; CUSTOM ; Fists ; GAME ; GESTURE ; Grade School ; SLANG ; Thumb

Subject headings: BELIEF -- School
BELIEF -- P670 P670.88
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.22

Date learned: 10-10-1969

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