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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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COUNTING OUT

ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO, THREE POTATO, FOUR;
FIVE POTATO, SIX POTATO, SEVEN POTATO, ORE.
OUT GOES YOU.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT USED THIS RHYME WHILE A CHILD IN BALTIMORE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated and Motifs added / 02-28-2011 / TRD

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE

Keyword(s): Count ; COUNTING ; Eliminate ; Elimination ; GAME ; NUMBER ; POTATO ; RHYME

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

Date learned: CHILDHOOD

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SOUTHERNERS USED BAKING SODA AS TOOTHPASTE AND AS AN
UNDERARM DEODORANT.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE

James Callow Keyword(s): HYGIENE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 10-14-1984 ; 00001960S

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When you are at a bar with a group of people and
someone burps, the last one to put their thumb on
their forehead gets biffed on the head.

Submitter comment: The fun part of the game is getting people that
have no idea what is going on. People usually
catch on after getting hit two or three times.
Biffed means to get slapped on the forehead.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE

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

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TWO HANDKERCHIEFS

A LADY WITH A COLD WENT TO A DINNER PARTY AND TOOK WITH HER TWO
HANDKERCHIEFS. ONE SHE TUCKED IN HER BOSOM. AT THE PARTY SHE
STARTED LOOKING LEFT AND RIGHT IN HER BOSOM. SHE SUDDENLY NOTICED
PEOPLE LOOKING AT HER. EMBARRASSED, SHE SAID, "I KNOW I HAD TWO
WHEN I CAME."

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): BREASTS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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YOU SHOULD LET OTHERS RUN THEIR MOUTH WHILE YOU RUN YOUR OWN
BUSINESS.

Submitter comment: THIS INFORMANT'S FORMER EMPLOYER USED TO SAY THIS.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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MANY YOUNG MOTHERS BELIEVE THAT PET CATS WILL STIFLE THE BREATH OF
THEIR BABIES IF THEY HAVE THE CHANCE.

Submitter comment: MANY OF THE INFORMANT'S PATIENTS HAVE ASKED HIM ABOUT THIS.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): SUFFOCATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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MOROCCAN WEDDINGS

IN MOROCCO, AFRICA WATER AND MILK ARE SPRINKLED OVER YOUNG BRIDES
DURING THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY. THIS IS TO PURIFY THE GIRLS OF ANY
EVIL DEMONS THAT MAY BE AROUND. IN OTHER CEREMONIES THEY CROSS
SWORDS OVER THE NEWLYWED'S HEADS TO SCARE AWAY BAD SPIRITS.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT ACTUALLY PARTICIPATED IN SUCH A CEREMONY.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Ceremony
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 00001971 WINTER

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"NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP, A DOLLAR DOWN AND A DOLLAR A WEEK."

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): HUMOR

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

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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IT IS A SURE SIGN OF TROUBLE IF A PERSON DREAMS OF SILVER MONEY.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Dreams Dreams about luck
BELIEF -- Dreams Dreams about objects
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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WHAT DID THE RIGHT EYE SAY TO THE LEFT EYE? (THERE'S SOMETHING
BETWEEN US THAT SMELLS.)

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): NOSE ; PUN ON SMELLS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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HOW DOES THE BIG MOUNTAIN CALL HIS SON? (HE YELLS, "HEY CLIFF")

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN ON FIRST NAME

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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STRUT MISS LIZZY

STRUT MISS LIZZY ALL DAY LONG/NOW HERE COMES ANOTHER JUST LIKE THE
OTHER, ALL DAY LONG/ WELL HEY THERE SAILOR, HOW ABOUT A DATE?
I DON'T HAVE TO BE HOME UNTIL HALF PAST EIGHT/ I CAN DO THE KICK
AND I CAN DO THE SPLIT, AND I CAN WEAR MY DRESSES UP ABOVE MY KNEES
AND I CAN SHAKE MY SHIMMY TO WHO I PLEASE/ I'VE NEVER BEEN TO COLLEGE
I'VE NEVER BEEN TO SCHOOL BUT WHEN IT COMES TO BOOGIE I CAN BOOGIE
LIKE A FOOL/YOU JUMP FRONT BACK AND SIDE TO SIDE. (A DANCING SONG)

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Singing Dancing Marching

Date learned: 00001972 SUMMER

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WHAT GET'S LOST EVERY TIME YOU STAND UP? (YOUR LAP)

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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THE SKUNKS

MAMA SKUNK WAS WORRIED BECAUSE SHE COULD NEVER KEEP TRACK OF HER TWO
KIDS. THEY WERE NAMED "IN" AND "OUT" AND WHEN "IN" WAS IN, "OUT" WAS
OUT. AND IF "IN" WAS OUT, "OUT" WAS IN. ONE DAY SHE CALLED "OUT"
AND TOLD HIM TO BRING "IN" IN. HE DID. "GOOD!" SAID MAMA SKUNK.
"HOW DID YOU FIND HIM IN SO SHORT A TIME?" "IT WAS EASY SAID
OUT, "INSTINCT!"

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Mammal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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TALKING PET

A MAN WHO WANTED A PET PARROT SAW A SIGN SAYING "BANKRUPTCY SALE"
IN THE WINDOW OF A PET SHOP. HE WENT INSIDE AND BEGAN BIDDING FOR
A BEAUTIFUL PARROT HE SAW. HE BID HIGHER AND HIGHER UNTIL THE BIRD
WAS FINALLY HIS. HE THEN ASKED THE AUCTIONEER IF THE BIRD COULD
TALK. "WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WAS BIDDING AGAINST YOU ALL THE
TIME?" SAID THE PARROT.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal Tale

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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THE FEET OF A STRANGER ARE SMALL

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT WILL TELL THIS TO A THIRD PARTY WHO STICKS HIS MOUTH
INTO AN ARGUMENT THAT DOES NOT AFFECT HIM.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): BUTTING IN MEDDLE ; INTERRUPTS ; METONYMY

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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TO TAKE OUT AND PUT BACK NEVER EMPTIES THE POT.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT WARNS TO BEWARE OF THOSE WHO ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A
HANDOUT.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): BEGGING CHARITY BEGGARS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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MARKING THE SPOT

JACK AND JOE WERE FISHING AND FOUND THIS PLACE WHERE FISHING WAS
GOOD. JOE SAID YOU BETTER NOT FORGET THIS PLACE. MARK IT SO WE CAN
COME HERE AGAIN. JACK TOOK A PENCIL AND WROTE AN "F" ALONG SIDE
THE BOAT. WHEN THEY GOT HOME JOE ASKED JACK IF HE MARKED THE PLACE
GOOD. JACK SAID YES I PUT AN "F" ON THAT SIDE OF THE BOAT FOR FISH
SO WE'LL KNOW WHERE THE FISHING IS GOOD. JOE HIT JACK IN THE HEAD
AND SAID, "YOU DUMMY, WE WON'T HAVE THAT BOAT AGAIN."

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman

Date learned: 11-25-1972

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IF YOUR LEFT EYE JUMPS IT MEANS YOU WILL BE MAD BEFORE THE DAY IS
OVER.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): ANGER ; RIGHT LEFT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions

Date learned: 11-18-1972

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IF YOUR RIGHT HAND ITCHES YOU WILL SOON SHAKE HANDS WITH A STRANGER.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): RIGHT LEFT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching hands and feet
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 11-18-1972

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