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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THREE WISE MEN OF GOTHAM, WENT TO SEA IN A BOWL; IF THE BO; HAD BEEN STRONGER,

Submitter comment: HEARD IN SCHOOL.

James Callow comment: RDNeedsReview

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Keyword(s): ACCIDENT NONSENSE ; NUTSHELL NARRATIVE QUATRAIN ; RHYME: ABCC ; RHYME: FEMININE, REPETITION ; SATIRE UNDERSTATEMENT EPITAPH LAMENT

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

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LITTLE FLY UPON THE WALL,
HIM AIN'T GOT NO HOME AT ALL.
HIM AIN'T GOT NO MAMA TO COMB HIS HAIR,
HIM DON'T CARE!
HIM GOT NO HAIR.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM NEIGHBORHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; OHIO ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BABY-TALK

Subject headings: 730 Lyrical Verse

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SPARKLE, STARKLE, LITTLE TWINK,
WHO THE TELL YOU ARE I HINK.
I'M NOT IMBRICATED,
I'M NOT AS DRUNK AS SOME TINKLE PEEP I AM.
I'VE ONLY HAD TEA MARTOONIES,
ANYWAY I'VE ALL DAY SOBER TO SUNDAY UP IN.
I FOOL SO FEELISH, I DON'T KNOW WHO IS ME YET,
BUT THE DRUNKER I STAND HERE,
THE LONGER I GET.

Submitter comment: LEARNED IN GRADE SCHOOL.

Where learned: OHIO

Keyword(s): CONTRADICTIONS MONOLOGUE HUMOR ; EUPHEMISM PARODY DRINKING ; NONSENSE WORDS METER TROCHEE ; TANGLETALK

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

Date learned: 00-00-1948

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GOOD NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT,
DON'T LET THE BEDBUGS BITE.

Submitter comment: TOLD THIS BY PARENTS WHEN SENT TO BED AS A CHILD.

Where learned: OHIO

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

Date learned: 00-00-1948

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Retort

You're like a million bucks - all green and wrinkled.

Submitter comment:

Learned this from my brother, Brett Gundlach (informant quote)

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Source? Total Effect?

Where learned: OHIO ; WASHINGTON ; WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE

Keyword(s): Bucks ; COLOR ; COMEBACK ; Dollars ; Green ; INSULT ; Million ; MONEY ; RETORT ; SARCASM ; SIMILE ; Wisecrack

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

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FRUIT BELIEF

IF YOU SWALLOW A GRAPEFRUIT OR ORANGE SEED, IT WILL GROW IN YOUR
STOMACH.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; FRUIT ; Lore ; Seed ; SUPERSTITION ; Swallow

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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Retort

You're as handy as a screen door in a submarine.

Submitter comment:

Learned from classmate at school

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; WASHINGTON ; WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE

Keyword(s): COMEBACK ; INSULT ; RETORT ; SARCASM ; Screen ; Submarine ; Wisecrack

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

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Belief: Weather

Weather Proverb:

Rain before seven / Ends by eleven

Submitter comment:

Learned from his sister

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Dup. of WPP

Where learned: OHIO ; WASHINGTON ; WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE

Keyword(s): NATURE ; PREDICTING WEATHER ; PREDICTION ; Rain ; RHYME ; Sky ; TIME ; WEATHER

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

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MARCH

IF MARCH COMES IN LIKE A LION, IT GOES OUT LIKE A LAMB.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Keyword(s): ANIMAL COMPARISON ; CONTRAST. ; WEATHER.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Month
PROVERB -- Weather Proverb

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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To get rid of a tapeworm, you must not eat all day and then
put peanut butter on your tongue. You should then stick your
tongue out and wait for the tapeworm to crawl out. When you see
the tapeworm, you must grab it and pull it out of the body.

Where learned: OHIO ; TORONTO

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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If dogs howl all night, it means that someone is dying.

Submitter comment: I heard this from a girl I went to school with. She told this
the morning after her mother had a miscarriage. Her mother had
miscarried during the night while the dogs in the neighborhood
howled.

Where learned: OHIO ; TORONTO

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: 00-00-1966

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If you hang a horseshoe above your door for good luck, the
horseshoe legs must be pointed up. If the horseshoe legs are
pointed down, the luck will run out.

Where learned: OHIO ; TORONTO

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00-00-1957

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Brewed chamomile tea taken orally will purify your blood and
cure boils.

Submitter comment: My twin sister was given this folk cure after having repeated
boils.

Where learned: OHIO ; TORONTO

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 00-00-1958

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If you kill a snake, it must be hung on a fence until sundown.
If you do not, the snake will come back to life.

Submitter comment: When I was young, I remember seeing a snake hanging on the
fence all day that my father had killed.

James Callow comment: See Puckett, Ohio, nos. 30842-30846: snakes, when killed,
won't die or even stop wriggling until sundown.

"A snake won't die until the sun goes down unless you hang him
on a barbed-wire fence." Puckett, Ohio, no. 30847.

Where learned: OHIO ; TORONTO

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: 00-00-1956

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If a horse has one white hoof, buy it. If the horse has two
white hooves, take a chance. If the horse has three white hooves,
think hard before you buy. If the horse has four white hooves,
don't buy it.

Submitter comment: This saying is popular in horse circles. There is some truth
to the saying that white hooves frequently seem to be weaker than
darker hooves.

James Callow comment: See Wayland Hand, North Carolina, no. 7633, for parallels from
Ontario, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Illinois, and in particular
Pennsylvania, where "a horse with one or more white feet is
considered more or less impaired in value." Hand seems to think
that such horses are called "white-stockinged"; but our
informant/collector notes that a stocking applies to the leg, not
to the hoof or foot. Also see the OED, s.v. "stocking."

"A horse with one white foot is always weak in it; and if he
goes lame, it will be that foot." -- Hyatt, Illinois (1965), no.
2530.

See Hyatt, Illinois (1

Where learned: OHIO ; TORONTO

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Seconds / Twice / Two
686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
686 Fourths / Quarters
Favorites
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 00-00-1956

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If you are in a falling elevator, you will not be injured if
you jump up in the air at the same time that the elevator hits the
bottom of the shaft.

Where learned: OHIO ; TORONTO

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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Thunder is really potatoes rolling down a hill after God
spills a cart full of them.

Submitter comment: This was told to children at one time to prevent them from
being afraid of thunder.

Where learned: OHIO ; TORONTO

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Gods
BELIEF -- Lightning Thunder
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control

Date learned: 00-00-1956

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Liar, liar,
Pants on fire.
Nose as long
As a telephone wire.

Submitter comment: This is a taunt used by children when they wish to call
another child a liar.

Where learned: OHIO ; TORONTO

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 07-00-1980

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I'm a sheet slitter. I slit sheets. I'm the best sheet slitter
that ever slit a sheet.

Submitter comment: This is a particular favorite of children since the
mispronounced words result in much laughter.

Where learned: OHIO ; TORONTO

James Callow Keyword(s): tongue-twister

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 00-00-1958

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If it rains on the day of a funeral, it is felt to be a sign
that the dead person lived a life filled with love and laughter.

Submitter comment: This was said at the funeral of my aunt, whose life was truly
filled with love and laughter.

Where learned: OHIO ; TORONTO

Keyword(s): COMPENSATION

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTRAST

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

Date learned: 00-00-1989

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