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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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IT IS A SURE SIGN OF TROUBLE IF A PERSON DREAMS OF SILVER MONEY.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Dreams Dreams about luck
BELIEF -- Dreams Dreams about objects
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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"NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP, A DOLLAR DOWN AND A DOLLAR A WEEK."

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): HUMOR

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

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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MOROCCAN WEDDINGS

IN MOROCCO, AFRICA WATER AND MILK ARE SPRINKLED OVER YOUNG BRIDES
DURING THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY. THIS IS TO PURIFY THE GIRLS OF ANY
EVIL DEMONS THAT MAY BE AROUND. IN OTHER CEREMONIES THEY CROSS
SWORDS OVER THE NEWLYWED'S HEADS TO SCARE AWAY BAD SPIRITS.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT ACTUALLY PARTICIPATED IN SUCH A CEREMONY.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Ceremony
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 00001971 WINTER

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MANY YOUNG MOTHERS BELIEVE THAT PET CATS WILL STIFLE THE BREATH OF
THEIR BABIES IF THEY HAVE THE CHANCE.

Submitter comment: MANY OF THE INFORMANT'S PATIENTS HAVE ASKED HIM ABOUT THIS.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): SUFFOCATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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YOU SHOULD LET OTHERS RUN THEIR MOUTH WHILE YOU RUN YOUR OWN
BUSINESS.

Submitter comment: THIS INFORMANT'S FORMER EMPLOYER USED TO SAY THIS.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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THE SKUNKS

MAMA SKUNK WAS WORRIED BECAUSE SHE COULD NEVER KEEP TRACK OF HER TWO
KIDS. THEY WERE NAMED "IN" AND "OUT" AND WHEN "IN" WAS IN, "OUT" WAS
OUT. AND IF "IN" WAS OUT, "OUT" WAS IN. ONE DAY SHE CALLED "OUT"
AND TOLD HIM TO BRING "IN" IN. HE DID. "GOOD!" SAID MAMA SKUNK.
"HOW DID YOU FIND HIM IN SO SHORT A TIME?" "IT WAS EASY SAID
OUT, "INSTINCT!"

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

Keyword(s): IN STINCT=INSTINCT ; IN STINKS

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Mammal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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THE SKUNKS

MAMA SKUNK WAS WORRIED BECAUSE SHE COULD NEVER KEEP TRACK OF HER TWO
KIDS. THEY WERE NAMED "IN" AND "OUT" AND WHEN "IN" WAS IN, "OUT" WAS
OUT. AND IF "IN" WAS OUT, "OUT" WAS IN. ONE DAY SHE CALLED "OUT"
AND TOLD HIM TO BRING "IN" IN. HE DID. "GOOD!" SAID MAMA SKUNK.
"HOW DID YOU FIND HIM IN SO SHORT A TIME?" "IT WAS EASY SAID
OUT, "INSTINCT!"

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

Keyword(s): IN STINCT=INSTINCT IN STINKS

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Mammal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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Children's Rime

Does your nose run, do your feet smell?
Why, then you're built upside down.

 

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; Goucher College

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

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Maxim

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

 

Submitter comment:

Supposedly said by Abraham Lincoln.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; Goucher College

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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Folk Speech

I haven't seen you in "a month of Sundays."

(Folk way of saying, in a long time.)

 

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; Goucher College

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

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Superstition

The only objects that are supposed to be able to kill witches are those that are made of silver.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Metal Stone Bone Gold Silver Copper

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Neck Riddle

What's the difference between a violin and a fiddle?

Answer: A violin has a case; a fiddle is thrown over the back.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

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Neck Riddle

What's the difference between a vase(1)/vez/ and a vase(2)/vaz/?

Answer: A vase(2) costs over $5.00.

 

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

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Children's Play Song

Chorus:
Boom, Boom, ain't it great to be crazy
Boom, Boom, ain't it great to be crazy

A horse and a flea and three blind mice
Sat on a table shooting dice
The horse, he slept and fell on the flea
Oops said the flea, there's a horse on me (chorus)

Eli, Eli, he sells sox
A dollar for a pair, a nickel for a box
The longer you wear 'em, the shorter they get
You put 'em in the water and they don't get wet (chorus)

A man sells a pair of Venetian underwear
He wore 'em nine months without a single tear
Wore 'em nine months, without exageration
Couldn't take 'em off 'cause he lost the combination (chorus)


 

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; Goucher College

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

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Riddle

Why do people usually tap the side of their coffee or tea cup, after stirring the contents?

Answer: Because you can see it (the contents), smell it, taste it, and touch it, but you can't hear it, so you tap it.

 

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; Goucher College

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

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Once through the lips, forever on the hips.

(Sign on the door of our cupboard.)

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; Goucher College

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

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Expression

Being "in the family way" is another way of saying being pregnant.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; Goucher College

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary of Special Group

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Occupational Saying

A farmboy, in the hills of Maryland, when asked to do a favor, once gave this reply: "Might as well, can't dance, too wet to plow, too windy to haul rocks, corn's all in, chickin's been fed."

 

Where learned: MARYLAND ; Frederick

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech C870.550

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