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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Several years ago I was told that a way to determine
the sex on an unborn child is by how much pain the
mother-to-be experiences during her nine month
pregnancy. If a woman experiences a lot of pain she
will give birth to a boy. If she experiences little
or no pain, she will give birth to a girl.

Submitter comment: I had some doubts about this until after my sister
gave birth to her first child. She now has three kids
and went through enormous pain during each pregnancy
and as it turns out, she gave birth to three boys.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): gender

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Trick

Cooties:

You used to put an "X" on your hand or something. That was your cootie shot. One girl was designated as having cooties and if she touched you, you passed it on to somebody else. Or else if you didn't have the "X" you'd get it."

Submitter comment:

Informant recalls this as being practices often while attending grade school.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): GAME ; gender ; Prank ; SCHOOL ; Tease ; TRICK ; TRICKSTER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School

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Belief: Children

Determining Sex of Unborn Child:

A pin on a thread, if held motionless over the wrist of an expectant mother, can determine sex of child by the motion which it takes up after it is perfectly still. If pin or needle takes up a circular motion than first child weill be a girl. If needle takes up back and forth motion then a boy. If pin stops and then moves again, this can be used to predict the future sex and number of children.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P860] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME ; NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Keyword(s): ANAPEL ; BELIEF ; Biology ; BIRTH ; CHILDREN ; CUSTOM ; Forecasting ; gender ; Ordain ; Pendulum ; Predictions ; SEX

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

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Superstition

How Many Children?

Thread a needle and hold it at the top, next to your left wrist. If you keep watching for awhile, the needle and thread will move all by itself. If it moves in circles, for example, three times, that means you will have three daughters someday. If it sways back and forth, that means you will have the respective number of sons. If the needle and thread don't move at all, you will be childless.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P542, P860] crossed out. Replaced with current Classification

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BIRTH ; Childbirth, divination ; CHILDREN ; FUTURE ; GAME ; gender ; NUMBER ; Offspring ; Ordaining ; SUPERSTITION ; TRICK

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Custom/Belief

Tie a diamond ring to a piece of string with the diamond hanging at the lowest point. Hold the string at eye level. Hold it steady and place someone's hand palm down under the diamond. If the ring sways from left to right that is the sign that the expectant mother will have a baby boy. If it sways to and fro, the baby will be a girl.

Data entry tech comment:

motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [F500] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; BIRTH ; DIVINATION ; gender ; Old Wives Tale ; Ordaining ; SEX ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition: Pregnancy

Birth Omen:

When you are pregnant, if you thread a needle and hold it over your left arm with your right hand, you can learn what the sex of the child is. If it swings across the arm, it is a boy. If it swings up and down the arm, it is a girl.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): BIRTH ; CHILD ; DIVINATION ; gender ; Ordaining ; PREGNANCY ; SEX

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Proverb

Man has his will, but woman has her way.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [V400] crossed out. Replaced wtih current classification.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; gender ; Man ; Maxim ; PLAY ON WORDS ; PROVERB ; PUN ; Sexes ; VERSE ; Way ; Will ; Woman

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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Proverb

Man has his will - but woman has her way.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [V400] crossedout. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: MACKENZIE HIGH SCHOOL

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; gender ; Man ; Maxim ; PROVERB ; PUN ; Sexes ; Way ; Will ; Woman

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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Proverb

Behind every great man there is a great woman.

Submitter comment:

From - Uncertain

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [V300] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE ;

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; gender ; Man ; Maxim ; POWER ; PROVERB ; VERSE ; Woman

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Autograph Verse

Album rhyme:

Standing on the street corner

My frock above my knees

I'm a full born American

And I'll do as I please

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): AMERICAN ; AUTOGRAPH ; Corner ; DRESS ; Frock ; gender ; Knees ; Liberation ; NATIONALITY ; poem ; Propriety ; RHYME ; Signature ; STREET ; VERSE ; VERSE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Verse without Music C700 .881

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IF THE STOMACH IS POINTED DURING PREGNANCY, THE CHILD WILL
BE A BOY; IF ROUNDED, A GIRL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; ; BELZONI

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; Boy ; Fetus ; gender ; Girl ; Pointed ; PREGNANCY ; Rounded ; SHAPE ; STOMACH

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 09-00-1973

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IF THE UNBORN CHILD IS CARRIED HIGH, IT WILL BE A GIRL;
IF CARRIED LOW, IT WILL BE A BOY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; BELZONI

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; Boy ; Carriage ; CARRY ; CHILD ; Fetus ; gender ; Girl ; High ; Low ; PREGNANCY ; STOMACH ; Unborn

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 09-00-1973

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IF THE STOMACH IS LARGE AT NINE MONTHS, THE BABY WILL BE
A GIRL; IF SMALL, A BOY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; BELZONI

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; BELLY ; gender ; Large ; PREDICTION ; PREGNANCY ; Small ; STOMACH

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of space: distance, height, depth

Date learned: 08-21-1973

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A CHILD CARRIED TO THE LEFT SIDE IS A BOY; TO THE
RIGHT SIDE, A GIRL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Boy ; CARRY ; gender ; Girl ; LEFT ; PREDICTION ; PREGNANCY ; RIGHT ; Side ; STOMACH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 08-20-1973

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IF A PREGNANT WOMAN'S FEMALE CHILD IS ATTRACTED TO A
MALE SHE HAS PREVIOUSLY DISLIKED, HER CHILD WILL BE A BOY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): Attraction ; BELIEF ; Boy ; gender ; Girl ; PREDICTION ; PREGNANCY

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 10-23-1973

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IF THE BABY BEFORE BIRTH IS ACTIVE, IT WILL BE A BOY;
IF INACTIVE, A GIRL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; BELZONI

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Boy ; gender ; Girl ; Movement ; PREDICTION ; PREGNANCY

James Callow Keyword(s): SEX DETERMINATION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 09-13-1973

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A CHILD CONCEIVED ON THE QUARTER MOON WILL BE A BOY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; BELZONI

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Boy ; Conceived ; gender ; PREDICTION ; PREGNANCY

James Callow Keyword(s): FRACTION ; SEX DETERMINATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Number Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually

Date learned: 09-00-1973

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IF A LITTLE BOY IS ATTRACTED TO A PREGNANT WOMAN, HER
CHILD WILL BE A GIRL. IF A GIRL IS ATTRACTED TO THE
WOMAN, HER CHILD WILL BE A BOY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): Attraction ; BELIEF ; Boy ; CHILD ; gender ; Girl ; PREDICTION ; PREGNANCY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 10-23-1973

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TO DETERMINE PRE-NATALLY THE SEX OF A CHILD, HOLD A
RING ON THE END OF A STRING ABOVE THE PREGNANT WOMAN'S
NAVEL. IF THE RING SWINGS IN A CIRCLE, THE CHILD WILL
BE A BOY. IF IT SWINGS BACK AND FORTH, THE CHILD WILL
BE A GIRL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): ; BELIEF ; Boy ; gender ; Girl ; PREDICTION ; PREGNANCY ; RING

James Callow Keyword(s): ANAPEL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Use of object for determining number of children or sex of unborn P863.4

Date learned: 10-23-1973

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ATTACH NEEDLE AND THREAD TO THE ERASER END OF PENCIL. HOLD
THREAD IN RIGHT HAND SO PENCIL DNGLES OVER LEFT WRIST(PALM
UP). IF THE PENCIL TRAVELS VERTICALLY IT INDICATES A BOY,
HORIZONTALLY, A GIRL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; TROTWOOD

Keyword(s): Boy ; Dangle ; gender ; Girl ; Pencil ; PREDICTION ; PREGNANCY ; Swing

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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