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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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PROVERB

CON'SCIENCE TAKES UP MORE ROOM THAN ALL THE REST OF A PERSONS
INSIDES-HUCKLEBERRY FINN

Where learned: THEOLOGY CLASS

James Callow Keyword(s): MARK TWAIN

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1963

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LUCK WITH 13

TO VILLAGERS IN A PROVINCE NEAR ROME, ITALY
THE NUMBER 13 IS A GOOD LUCK SIGN.

Submitter comment: THIS IS SUCH AN OPPOSITE USE OF 13 FROM THE USUAL
THAT I THOUGHT THIS WORTH RECORDING.
THE INFORMANT, WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG, RECEIVED A GOOD LUCK
MEDAL WITH THE NUMBER 13 ON IT FROM HER
ITALIAN GRANDMOTHER WHO SAID 13 WAS A LUCKY NUMBER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; TOLD IN ; CLASS

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described

Date learned: 04-01-1970

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BELIEF

IN CELTIC COUNTRIES PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT IT IS GOOD LUCK
TO PUT NAILS IN THE CRIB OF A NEWBORN BABY. THIS PROTECTS
THEM FROM THE FAIRIES WHICH ACCORDING TO LEGEND CAME IN THE
NIGHT AND TOOK ALL BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN AND LEFT UGLY BABIES OR
"CHANGLINGS" IN THEIR PLACE. IF A MOTHER HAD A PARTICULARLY
UGLY CHILD SHE WOULD OFTEN SAY IT WAS A CHANGLING AND NOT HER
REAL CHILD. INCIDENTLY, PEOPLE BELIEVED THAT IRON WAS MAGICAL AND
SO IT IS NOT THE NAILS BUT THE IRON THAT THEY ARE MADE OUT OF
WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BRING THE GOOD LUCK.

Data entry tech comment: "YOU" IS PROFESSOR FRANK PAULSEN.

Where learned: CLASS DURING WHICH HE SUBSTITUTED FOR YOU

Keyword(s): CHANGELINGS

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE SCORPION IN THE HAIRDO

IT'S WRONG FOR GIRLS TO WEAR LARGE, RATTED HAIRDOS.
RECENTLY IN CALIFORNIA,A TEENAGE GIRL DIED, APPARENTLY WITHOUT CAUSE.
BUT THEY FOUND THAT SHE HAD BEEN WEARING THE SAME HAIRDO
FOR SIX MONTHS.
IT HAD GOTTEN SO DIRTY THAT A SCORPION GOT IN IT
AND MADE HIS NEST THERE
AND FINALLY HE BIT HER, AND SHE DIED.

Submitter comment: (I THINK SISTER REALLY BELIEVED THIS STORY.)

Where learned: 3RD OR 4TH GRADE CLASS

Keyword(s): FATAL HAIRDO ; SCORPION

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak

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( PROVERBIAL DEFINITION )

INTOXICATION: TO FEEL SOPHISTICATED AND NOT BE ABLE TO PRONOUNCE IT.

Where learned: THEOLOGY CLASS ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): DRUNKENNESS ; HUMOR

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1963

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A SAYING

WHEN I'M RIGHT, NOBODY REMEMBERS;
WHEN I'M WRONG, NO ONE FORGETS.

Submitter comment: TOLD BY LANDLADY

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CLASSROOM

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 10-20-1967

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PREDICTION DIVINATION

IF YOU FORGET YOUR GLOVES WHILE PAYING A VISIT TO YOUR
FRIEND AND GO BACK FOR THEM, YOU MUST SIT DOWN AND
CHAT ANOTHER FEW MINUTES BEFORE PICKING UP THE GLOVES AND
PUTTING THEM ON. IF THIS PROCEDURE ISN'T FOLLOWED, YOU'LL NEVER
VISIT THESE FRIENDS AGAIN.

Where learned: CLASSMATES

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 04-11-1967

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OMEN

WHEN SOMEONE DROPS A FORK ON THE FLOOR, THIS IS A SIGN
THAT A MAN IS COMING TO DINNER.

Where learned: CLASSMATES IN JUNIOR HIGH

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 04-11-1967

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PREDICTION DEVINATION

IF YOU PUT YOUR FORK IN THE MILK, A COW WILL GO DRY.

Where learned: JUNIOR HIGH CLASSMATES

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 04-11-1967

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DESTINY PREDICTION

IF TWO FORKS ARE ACCIDENTLY PLACED AT ONE PLACE SETTING
AT THE TABLE THE PERSON SITTING AT THE SETTING IS GOING TO MARRY
TWO HUSBANDS (OR TWO WIVES).

Where learned: JUNIOR HIGH CLASSMATES

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 04-11-1967

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FISHING NUDE

ONE TIME, I WAS FISHING OFF THE TOP OF A ROCK IN THE
COLORADO RIVER. WELL, FISHING WAS NO GOOD ON THE
SIDE I WAS ON. SO, I JUMPED ACROSS, BUT I DIDN'T
MAKE IT TO THE OTHER SIDE, AND I FELL IN. FINALLY,
I GOT OUT AND UP ON THE SHORE, AND MY CLOTHES WERE
ALL WET. SO, I DECIDED TO TAKE MY CLOTHES OFF. I
PUT THEM ON A ROCK TO DRY. I DECIDED TO START
FISHING AGAIN WHILE THEY WERE DRYING. SO, I WAS
UP ON A ROCK WITHOUT MY CLOTHES WHEN A GAME WARDEN
CAME BY, AND HE ARRESTED ME FOR FISHING WITHOUT
A LICENSE.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; HIGH SCHOOL ; HISTORY CLASS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Man

Date learned: 00001968 FALL

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FRIENDS:

A FRIEND IS A PERSON NOT TAKEN IN BY SHAM,
HE KNOWS YOUR FAULTS AND DOESN'T GIVE A DAMN.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; THEOLOGY CLASS

Keyword(s): DEFINITION ; RHYME

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1963

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SUPERSTITION

WEAR DARK COLORED CLOTHES AFTER A DEATH TO ALLOW THE SOUL OF
THE DEAD TO REST.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT STATES THAT BRIGHT CLOTHES, BECAUSE OF THEIR
EMITTING PROPERTIES, STIMULATE THE SOUL AND PREVENT ITS REST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CLASSROOM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 02-12-1979

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SUPERSTITION

PIMPLES ON THE FACE MEANS YOU HAVE COMMITTED AN IMMORAL ACT.

Submitter comment: PIMPLES WERE VIEWED AS THE ESCAPE OF IMPURITIES FROM THE BODY
IMPURITIES APPEAR IN THE BODY DURING ACTS WHICH ARE NOT IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE ESTABLISHED PRECEPTS OF GOOD BEHAVIOR,
SPECIFICALLY IMMORAL SEX ACTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CLASSROOM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 02-12-1979

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SUPERSTITION

WALKING UNDER A LADDER RESULTS IN BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: THIS BELIEF WAS CONTRIBUTED BY A NUMBER OF INFORMANTS, HOWEVER, NONE
WERE ABLE TO GIVE REASON FOR ITS SUPPORT OR TO EXPLAIN THE
ORIGIN OF THE BELIEF.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CLASSROOM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 02-12-1979

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SUPERSTITION

DEATH OCCURS IN THREES.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT STATES THAT SHE ADHERES TO THIS BELIEF BECAUSE SHE HAS
WITNESSED, SEVERAL TIMES, THE DEATH OF AN INDIVIDUAL FOLLOWED
BY THE DEATH OF TWO OTHERS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CLASSROOM

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 02-12-1979

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LEGS IN PARENTHESES

A LADY HAD A LITTLE GIRL, WHOM SHE WAS WORRIED ABOUT,
BECAUSE THE GIRL WAS ALWAYS INSULTING PEOPLE,
ESPECIALLY BOWLEGGED MEN. IN AN EFFORT TO CORRECT THE
PROBLEM, SHE SENT HER AWAY TO A SCHOOL, ESPECIALLY
KNOWN FOR TEACHING MANNERS. ONE DAY, AFTER THE GIRL
RETURNED, HER MOTHER AND SHE WERE OUT TOGETHER, WHEN
THEY SAW A BOWLEGGED MAN. NOW, THOUGHT HER MOTHER,
WILL COME THE TEST. THE GIRL SIMPLY SAID:
"OH ME, OH MY, WHAT MEN ARE THESE
WHO WEAR THEIR LEGS IN PARENTHESES?"

Where learned: FOURTH GRADE CLASS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Woman

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PROVERBIAL PHRASE

DON'T SWAP HORSES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREAM.

Where learned: AMERICAN HISTORY CLASS

Keyword(s): ANIMAL

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: NEGATIVE ; POLITICS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1962

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PROVERB

THE HOUR OF HAPPINESS BRINGS INDIFFERENCE; THE HOUR OF SADNESS BRINGS
MEDITATION; AND THE HOUR OF DEATH BRINGS CONFESSION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CLASSROOM

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 09-00-1967

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SUPERSTITION AMONG JAZZ MUSICIANS.

"NIGHT TIME IS THE RIGHT TIME." JAZZ MUSICIANS HAVE A
SUPERSTITION IN WHICH THEY WILL ONLY PLAY AT NIGHT BECAUSE
THEY BELIEVE THAT IF YOU PLAY DURING THE DAY THE "GIG"
WILL BE A BUMMER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HARPER WOODS ; BAND CLASS

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

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