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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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IN THE THEATRE, A PERFORMER IS NEVER SUPPOSED TO WISH
ANOTHER PERSON GOOD LUCK IN THE NORMAL GOOD LUCK WORDS.
YOU KNOW LIKE "GOOD LUCK" OR "KNOCK 'EM DEAD." HE'S
SUPPOSED TO SAY "BREAK A LEG." I THINK THAT IT HAS
SOMETHING TO DO WITH WHEN JOHN WILKES BOOTH JUMPED ONTO
THE STAGE AFTER SHOOTING LINCOLN AND BROKE HIS LEG.

Where learned: NASHVILLE, ASSUMED ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: DRAMA -- D000
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Good luck
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 07-23-1968

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I'VE ALWAYS HEARD THAT OPENING AN UMBRELLA IN THE HOUSE
IS SUPPOSED TO BRING BAD LUCK.

Where learned: NASHVILLE, ASSUMED ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 07-23-1968

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IF YOU BREAK A MIRROR, THAT'S SUPPOSED TO BRING YOU SEVEN
YEARS OF BAD LUCK, BUT IF YOU TOSS SOME SALT OVER YOUR
SHOULDER, THAT'LL COUNTERACT THE BAD LUCK AND YOU DON'T
HAVE TO WORRY.

Where learned: NASHVILLE, ASSUMED ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Bad luck
BELIEF -- Conversions

Date learned: 07-23-1968

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BIRTH SUPERSTITION

MY GRANDMOTHER USED TO SAY THAT WHENEVER A BABY WAS BORN AND
IT HAD A BIRTHMARK OR SOMETHING ON ITS SKIN, THAT IT WAS
DUE TO SOME SIN OF THE MOTHER AND GOD WAS PUNISHING HER
BY MARKING UP HER CHILD.

Where learned: NASHVILLE, ASSUMED ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Specific distinguishing characteristic Dimple, wart, mole, scar, freckle, birthmark, strawberry mark, bruise, spot (on any part of body)
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 07-23-1968

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