Monday, May 10, 2021

SUPERSTITIONS

I was sitting at my computer absentmindedly scratching my palm when it hit me. One of my favorite relatives popped into my head  with the statement, "Itchy palm means money is coming your way." Whoo Hoo. 

I smiled as I remembered my grandmother who was full of folklore and superstitions.  Just to be sure I remembered right, I Googled itchy palm and got a bit of a shock. Yes, if your left palm itches you will get money but if your right one does (as mine was doing) it means money will be flowing out your pocket. Yikes. 

In some countries the reverse is true of itchy palms. What to believe?

Then I started thinking about all the things that delightful lady actually believed in. 

If a knife falls to the floor you can expect a male visitor, a fork means a lady to visit.

Years ago during slack dating times, I was known to "accidentally" drop a knife on the floor. Rarely worked but the few times it did, made me keep it in my bag of maybes. 

Itchy nose?  You will kiss a fool.   

Allergy season has me wary of that these days. Not sure there are that many fools out there.

If you drop a dish cloth on the floor, a worse housekeeper than you is coming to visit.   

I would like to make someone who is a worse housekeeper than I am my new best friend. 

If the bottom of your right foot itches, you will take a trip.

Hot dog, road trip.  Hopefully it didn't mean a "face plant" type of trip.

Ears itch, someone is talking about you.

Notice how many of these involve itching?

Red  sky in morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailors delight.

This I totally believe. Seen it happen too many times. I think there is actual science involved.

Find a penny, pick it up and all day you will have good luck.

Don't think  I have ever left a penny on the ground. Can't attest to any change in luck though.

Bad luck comes in threes.

I have added to this one by insisting that good luck comes in threes also.  I have seen it happen.

I have said "knock on wood " way more times than I have actually knocked on wood. Often there just isn't any wood around to ward off the bad luck so verbalizing the act is comforting. 

Black cats don't make me nervous and I think only a fool would walk under a ladder. That just reeks of accident ready to happen.

Just as an update, my itchy right palm resulted in money leaving my pocket. Had to hire a couple of guys to do some expensive but necessary yard work.  Hum, wonder if they were the ones summoned when I dropped that knife?

I feel superstitions are like old wives tales.  There is just enough evidence backing them up to make them worth repeating if with a wee dose of skepticism. 

Do you have any superstitions that you kind of believe in or is it all rubbish to you?

57 comments :

  1. I agree about the red sky...
    There is one you didn't mention and that came to mind...3 on a match is unlucky. And this one: Step on a crack...

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    Replies
    1. Anni,
      That one about matches started in war time. If three soldiers were using the same match in the dark, the enemy could zero in on them.

      Delete
  2. Oh boy, these were great Patti; well, I remember if you got a chill down your back or a shudder, my grandma would say "A goose walked over your grave". Isn't that creepy? She also said a loved one was going to die if a bird flew in the house, and my mom would go ballistic if you dared to open an umbrella indoors. I don't consider myself superstitious, but why take chances? :^)

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    1. Doug,
      My mom use to say that about the shudder. Only it was just "someone" walking on your grave. I like the idea of a goose:)

      Delete
  3. Well, this certainly brought back memories of my grandmother. I heard her say most of these and my father kept them up afterwards. His favorite, at least most repeated: eat your bread crusts -- it'll give you curly hair.
    Never met my maternal grandmother but I suspect she had many from the "old country" of a different, witchcrafty flavor.

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    1. Olga,
      So that is why my hair is straight as string? Hum, wonder if it is too late to give those crusts a try?

      Delete
  4. I don't have any old wives tales that I believe in but they're fun to read about. Thanks for sharing....

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    1. Jean,
      Glad we could amuse you this morning. Some really are far out but can make you smile.

      Delete
  5. One of the worst days of my life was after a WHITE cat crossed my car path and I hit it. That day I had four flat tires in my travel. Used the first spare then had to find service stations for the other three. I do not fear black cats, but sure do fear white ones.

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    1. Annie,
      Yikes, you need to get that white cat superstition out there. How many people have see them and just glad they weren't black. Seems the white ones are even worse.

      Delete
  6. I have heard most of these during my lifetime. One you didn't mention is spilling salt and then throwing some over your shoulder for luck. Or something like that. :-)

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    1. Djan,
      Yes that is a popular one. I have gotten salt in my eye more than once as someone chased away the bad luck.

      Delete
  7. I love these old sayings and predictions. I know that the red sky one is true. I wonder if there are more of them in the American South than anywhere else. No one probably checked on that.

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    1. Inger,
      Not sure if they are regional or not. Might be interesting to look into that.

      Delete
  8. I often knock on wood and always think of my dad when I do. He knocked on wood a lot. I love these old superstitions.

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    1. robin,
      Not sure it works but even when I just say it out loud, the bad vibes seem to go away.

      Delete
  9. I've heard all of these and said many of them. The knives I had never heard of. Itchy nose, kiss a fool is how I heard that one though. :-)

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    1. Margaret,
      That one was one of my Mom's favorites. I never was sure if I had to hunt down a fool or if one would just appear:)

      Delete
  10. A few pf these are new to me. My Dad always said if you dropped the dishcloth, it meant company was coming.

    I used to tease my kids when they were small - if my nose was itched I'd give one of them a kiss. :)

    I sure hope my foot gets itchy though. A trip would be nice!

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  11. Eileen,
    I'll bet there will be a lot of itchy feet when the restrictions finally get lifted. I would love a road trip.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dear Patti, these sayings aren't rubbish to me, but right off the bat I can't think of any I say. However, as the sayings move into cliches, I find my niche! I'm always using cliches as they cover almost every situation or emotion that happens to us. I seem chock-full of them . . . and that may be a sign that I'm not a creative thinker! But the person who first came up with any saying that later became a cliche was surely a creative thinker. Witness: caught red-handed. Hope all is well in your world. Peace.

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    1. Dee,
      I have been known to use them too. Hey if the shoe fits, wear it:))
      Makes you sometimes wish you could think of one that would be handed down for years.

      Delete
  13. I used to get sore bumps on my tongue from time to time; Mother called them swollen taste buds. But if I told Grandma I had a sore on my tongue, she would say, "That means you peed in the middle of the road."

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    1. Donna,
      Now that is funny and you know someone actually had that sequence occur.

      Delete
  14. I was told "Third wife is the charm." That's working so far!

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    1. joeh,
      That is your reward for hanging in there. Aren't you glad you didn't quit after two?

      Delete
  15. I don't consider myself superstitious but my mom would go crazy if anyone opened an umbrella inside, so I picked up that one from her. And I get a crawling sensation when people say "X has never happened or I've never *blanked*" because it seems like it's tempting the gods.

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    1. Margaret,
      I can see the logic about the umbrella. It would be so easy to knock something over and break it.
      The last part is when "knock on wood" helps to ward off bad things.

      Delete
  16. How about "it's bad luck to throw a hat on the bed"... and "never say 'come in' when the wind blows a door open. These I heard growing up in New Orleans.

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    1. Rian,
      The hat is new to me. Ooh, that one about the wind is a bit scary.

      Delete
  17. My comment just disappeared. I guess I am still getting reacquainted with blogging!

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    1. LC,
      Don't feel badly, I still have troubles and I have never left. Blogger is a sanity test.

      Delete
  18. It's rubbish to me, but it's fun rubbish. :-)

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    1. Linda,
      Yes, the strange beliefs are fun and fun is free.

      Delete
  19. My mum often said superstitious things, but I'm not sure if she actually believed them. I do know she never gave a purse as a gif without first putting a coin in it and she never gave knives as a gift without getting a coin in return as without the coin you would be cutting the friendship. There was something about never putting new shoes on a table too.

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    1. River,
      The coin for a knife is new to me, though I do believe my grandmother did the coin in the purse thing.

      Delete
  20. Haha. Wow! I can't think of any superstitions that I believe in. But, hey, tell us about the yard work and what was entailed.

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    1. gigi,
      Then you have nothing you have to avoid. That sounds good to me.
      Just may post about that.

      Delete
  21. Not me, but these are great.

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    1. Mage,
      Glad you are free. They are kind of fun though:)

      Delete
  22. As you know ... I wrote a blog entry recently about my coming to believe that the 22nd day of every month was a day that I stayed close to home ... better safe than sorry.

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    1. Ginnie,
      That is your own personal superstition that has been proven. Too bad it is every month.

      Delete
  23. I knew some of these but not all. My mother is somewhat superstitious. She will not open an umbrella in the house. I am not in the least afraid to do so. Fun post though, thanks for sharing these nuggets with us. And thanks for the info you left on my blog about libraries and Kindles.❤️

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    1. Susan,
      Hope you try that library service. You don't have to leave home and the price is right.

      Delete
  24. Yup. The ladder, the cat, the knock on wood, the 3s. I often notice the red sky, but I keep forgetting if it was bad in the morning or the evening. I think I remember something about it being bad luck to open and umbrella in the house. Maybe somebody got stuck in the eye or something?

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    1. Kay
      I think the ladder and the umbrella are accidents waiting to happen. Probably good reason for those. I remember the sky one in that morning and warning rhyme.

      Delete
  25. No, I don't really believe in superstitions though I jokingly often say "knock on wood" and even do so. Is that believing?
    I pick up pennies, too, and do recall they're supposed to bring good luck. Is that believing?
    Have been fascinated with that "rule of threes" which I wrote about long ago, including celebrities die in threes. Is that believing?

    I do recall my Mother citing some tableware superstition meanings but think they were different than what you mention here but I don't recall what they were. Am sure she mentioned bad luck opening an umbrella in the house.

    I never heard so many "itching" superstitions!

    Oh, I just remembered as a child one I took semi-seriously: Step on a crack and break your mother's back.

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    1. Joared,
      We have pretty much the same level of beliefs. Once my Mom cracked me up. She had hurt her back lifting the dog and when I got home she told me to quit stepping on sidewalk cracks. She was kidding--I think.

      Delete
  26. The mere thought of breaking a mirror freaked me out as a kid. Supposedly it meant 7-years of bad luck and that was a lifetime to me.

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    1. Sue,
      I never thought of it that way but you are right. Seven years isn't that much unless you are only 7 when it happens.

      Delete
  27. I say I'm not superstitious, but I was raised by a mother who was the Queen of superstition. Though of course I'm too enlightened ☺️ to believe in them, I'd be appalled if I broke a mirror, and I know if my ears are ringing someone is thinking of me....also, no matter how dirty it might be, I pick up any coin on the ground (lucky money).

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    1. Barb,
      We are pretty similar and how funny. I had forgotten how I always hesitate to pick up the coin if only briefly. And it is because I think how dirty it must be. Doesn't stop me though:)

      Delete
  28. To my surprise, many of the ones you mentioned, are also a thing in Latvia. We also have some silly ones like - don't leave your bag on the floor, you'll lose money. Keep a cat's whisker in your wallet to attract money... I've done this before, but all I attracted was the angry looks of my cat Martini.

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    1. Baiba,
      That surprises me also. Interesting how these things are global. Must be some merit to them huh?

      Delete
  29. I'm in my bird blog admin so I'm just Anni on comment link, but I replied to your troll doll comment & think you'd be interested.

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  30. Both of my Parent's Cultures were seeped in Superstition so I grew up around it and it's interesting how much of it I remember and actually find to be semi-believable. So, yeah, guess I am mildly Superstitious myself.

    ReplyDelete

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