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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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CUSTOM

WHEN WALKING ALONG A STREET, IT IS PROPER ETIQUETTE FOR THE MAN TO
WALK ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE LADY. THIS ORIGINATED IN MEDIEVAL
TIMES WHEN IT WAS PROPER FOR THE WOMAN TO WALK ON THE SIDE THAT
WOULD ALLOW THE MAN'S SWORD ARM TO BE FREE _ TO DEFEND THE YOUNG
LADY.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; NORTH PLAINFIELD

Keyword(s): STREET MEDIEVAL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 00001960S

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NOT ENTERED

ON MOTHER,S SIDE, ALL VIRGINS WHOSE NAME BEGAN WITH A "C" MARRIED
A MAN WHOSE NAME ALSO BEGAN WITH A "C".

Submitter comment: FOR FIVE GENERATIONS.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; NORTH QUAD 201

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 11-03-1971

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RETORT

IF MY DOG HAD A FACE LIKE YOURS I'D SHAVE HIS ASS AND MAKE HIM WALK
BACKWARDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; JACKSON

Keyword(s): FACE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 00-00-0000

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BIRTH CUSTOM

IN SOME UKRANIAN VILLAGES, WHEN A BABY GIRL IS BORN, HER FATHER
TAKES A BOTTLE OF PLUM WHISKEY AND BURIES IT IN THEIR BACKYARD.
ON THE GIRL'S WEDDING DAY, HE DIGS IT UP AND THEY TOAST THE YOUNG
COUPLE FOR GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: DETROIT, ASSUMED ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT, ASSUMED ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): WISH

James Callow Keyword(s): UKRAINIAN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
Food Drink -- Alcoholic beverage Distilled
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 03-02-1971

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WHEN A NEW NEIGHBOR MOVES INTO THE NEIGHBORHOOD, PAY A VISIT AND GIVE
THEM A LOAF OF BREAD AND A BOX OF SALT. SUPPOSED MEANING: MAY THERE
ALWAYS BE FOOD IN THE HOUSE AND WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS DONE IN INFORMANTS NEIGHBORHOOD IN SUBURBS IN WINSTON_SALEM.

Where learned: HOME ; WINSTON SALEM ; NORTH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Number

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BELIEF CONCERNING DEVIL

IN THE UKRAINE, TO SEE IF HER
BABY IS BEWITCHED, THE MOTHER LICKS
IT'S FOREHEAD AND IF SHE DETECTS
A SALTY TASTE, THE BABY IS UNDER THE
INFLUENCE OF THE DEVIL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ;

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 03-08-1971

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PROVERB

LIKE A FISH OUT OF WATER.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; NORTH QUAD

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 03-03-1971

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WHEN WE WERE CHILDREN, WE WOULD LINE UP ON THE TOP OF THE STAIRS
WITH THE OLDEST AT THE TOP AND WE ALL WENT DOWN TO OPEN OUR PRESENTS
TOGETHER

Submitter comment: THIS WAS ORIGINALLY LEARNED IN NORTH TONAWANDA, NEW YORK

Where learned: NEW YORK ; NORTH TONAWANDA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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Retort

In the Marines, when you are asked your weight, you say:

"I'm (insert weight) pounds of hell, death and destruction."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The original Title [Expression of Fixed Form] has been crossed out. Replaced with Retort.

Original BN [P640] has been crosssed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: OHIO ; NORTH OLMSTED

Keyword(s): COMEBACK ; Fighter ; INSULT ; Marines ; MILITARY ; RETORT ; SARCASM ; Soldier ; WEIGHT ; Wisecrack

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

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JOKE

Q. WHY WAS CHRIST CRUCIFIED RATHER THAN HUNG?
A. SO THE CHRISTIANS COULD MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS
RATHER THAN TWIRL THEIR FINGERS.

Submitter comment: (PROF'S) SEE INFORMANT CARD FOR MANNER IN WHICH THIS WAS TOLD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

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THE PALMS WHICH YOU RECEIVE ON PALM SUNDAY SHOULD BE WOVEN INTO A
CROWN OF THORNS DESIGN AND UPON EASTER SUNDAY IS UNDONE TO SIGNIFY
THE END OF LENT.

Where learned: NORTH DADE ; FLORIDA 70

Subject headings: 663 Palm Sunday
Favorites

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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FOLK VERSE (COLLECTOR'S TITLE) ; GOOD WISHES (CLASSIFIER'S TITLE)

MAY YOUR JOYS BE AS DEEP AS THE OCEAN
AND YOUR SORROWS AS LIGHT AS ITS FOAM.

Submitter comment: MINNIE LORENZ WROTE THIS IN INFORMANT'S AUTOGRAPH BOOK.

Where learned: NORTH DAKOTA

Keyword(s): RHYME: AA ; SIMILE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Good wishes (sincere)

Date learned: 00-00-1929

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I LIKE IT ALOT; IT'S THE BEST OR I HATE IT; IT'S THE WORST.

Submitter comment: THE SECOND CLAUSE REINFORCES THE FIRST JUST AS THE 4TH
REINFORCES THE 3RD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; NORTH QUAD 105

Keyword(s): GRAMMAR

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 11-06-1971

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IN CHAPEL HILL, TENNESSEE, A MAN WAS ONCE DECAPITATED
BY THE RAILROAD. SINCE THEN, PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN BY
THE TRACKS AT NIGHT HAVE REPORTED SEEING A LIGHT MOVING
ALONG THE TRACKS.

Where learned: NASHVILLE ; PEABODY COLLEGE, ASSUMED ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Fire

Date learned: 04-29-1969

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FAR OUT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; NORTH QUAD 105

Keyword(s): SLANG

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 11-06-1971

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ON CHRISTMAS EVE THE BRIGHT STAR TO THE NORTH IS SHINING OVER THE
STABLE AT BETHLEHEM.

Where learned: OHIO ; NORTH OLMSTED, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; BELIEF

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.4

Date learned: NOT RECORDED BY THE COLLECTOR

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MARRIAGE LICENSE BUREAU

THE MARRIAGE LICENSE BUREAU IS THE TWO DOLLAR WINDOW WHERE
EVERYBODY LOSES.

Submitter comment: MR. COTTINGHAM IS ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED OF THE VERACITY OF THE
ABOVE, BUT HE HAS NEVER BEEN MARRIED -- HE'S ONLY 21 -- SO HE HAS
YET TO FIND OUT HOW CORRECT HE IS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT HIS HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; RACING

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-19-1970

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IF IT STARTS TO RAIN AFTER A PERSON IS BURIED, THE SOUL
HAS BEEN FREED AND HAS GONE TO HEAVEN.

Submitter comment: GREEK BELIEF.

Where learned: NORTH DADE ; FLORIDA, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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COIN CUSTOM

IF YOU PUT A PENNY IN EACH OF YOUR DRESSER DRAWERS
AND KEEP THEM THERE YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE MONEY
WHILE YOU LIVE IN THAT HOUSE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAYS HIS MOTHER TOLD HIM THIS AND SWEARS IT IS TRUE.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of quality Medium of exchange
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

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THE SLOWER YOU GO, THE FARTHER YOU WILL GET.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 03-02-1971

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