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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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POLISH SUPERSTITION

IF YOU DROP A PIECE OF BREAD ON THE FLOOR, YOU MUST PICK IT UP
IMMEDIATELY AND KISS IT, OR ELSE YOU HAVE SINNED.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER POLISH MOTHER WHEN SHE WAS VERY YOUNG.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
SPEECH -- Gesture

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HUNGARIAN SUPERSTITION

NEVER STEP OVER A PERSON WHEN HE IS LYING IN BED OR IT WILL BRING
HIM GREAT DANGER.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER HUNGARIAN FATHER.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 12-22-1963

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TEACHER SUPERSTITION

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS MAKE THE WORST PARENTS.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM FELLOW TEACHERS AND SOME OF HER OWN STUDENTS IN
YONKERS, NEW YORK.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business

Date learned: 12-29-1963

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FISHING SUPERSTITION

IT'S MORE EFFECTIVE TO GO FISHING BY THE DARK OF THE MOON BECAUSE
THEN THE FISH CAN'T SEE IF YOUR BAIT IS FAKE OR NOT.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM A CANADIAN FISHERMAN ABOUT 1945.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion

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POLISH SUPERSTITION

WHEN YOU'RE PREGNANT, AVOID ALL UGLY PEOPLE AND LOOK AT AS MANY
PRETTY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE SO THAT YOUR CHILD WILL BE PRETTY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER MOTHER AROUND 1920.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 12-26-1963

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ITALIAN SUPERSTITION

ALL NEW BORN BABIES MUST IMMEDIATELY BE GIVEN A HORN-SHAPED
PIECE OF CORAL TO FASTEN TO THEIR UNDERSHIRTS. THIS WILL PROTECT
THEM FROM EVIL SPIRITS.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AS A YOUNG WOMAN LIVING IN ITALY.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure

Date learned: 12-29-1963

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ITALIAN SAYING

(ITALIAN)
COMANDA E FATTELLE.
(TRANSLATION)
IF YOU WANT A THING DONE WELL, DO IT YOURSELF.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AS A YOUNG WOMAN LIVING IN ITALY.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE ; FUNCTION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 12-27-1963

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CUSTOM--ITALIAN

ON EASTER SUNDAY, BAKE A LOAF OF BREAD USING A WHOLE EGG, SHELL
AND ALL, IN THE DOUGH.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AS A YOUNG WOMAN LIVING IN ITALY.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday

Date learned: 12-29-1963

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SUPERSTITION

HOWEVER YOU FEEL ON JANUARY 1ST (HAPPY, SAD, MEAN, ETC.)
YOU'LL FEEL ALL YEAR LONG.

Submitter comment: SOURCE NOT REMEMBERED.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: Prediction / Divination

Date learned: 12-26-1963

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HICCUP CURE

PUT TWO FINGERS DOWN YOUR THROAT AS FAR AS POSSIBLE.
STICK YOUR TONGUE OUT;
LOOK UP AT THE SKY;
AND HOLD YOUR BREATH AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.

Submitter comment: SOURCE NOT REMEMBERED.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 12-26-1963

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SUPERSTITION

AT 12 MIDNIGHT, NEW YEAR'S EVE, YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY
OPEN YOUR FRONT DOOR TO LET THE OLD YEAR OUT AND
WELCOME THE NEW YEAR IN.

Submitter comment: MRS. KENELY LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Keyword(s): SYMBOLIC ACTION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve

Date learned: 12-31-1963

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SUPERSTITION

IF THE WIND IS BLOWING ON TO SHORE, IT WILL BLOW THE FISH IN;
AND IF IT'S BLOWING OFF THE LAND, IT WILL BLOW THE FISH ON
TO THE BAIT.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM A CANADIAN FISHERMAN IN 1945.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 12-26-1963

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NEVER KNIT YOUR BOYFRIEND A SWEATER BEFORE YOU ARE
ENGAGED TO HIM OR YOU WILL BREAK UP.

Submitter comment: SOURCE NOT REMEMBERED.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Engagement

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NEVER LET ANOTHER GIRL TRY ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING OR
YOU WILL BREAK UP WITH YOUR FIANCE.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AT OSWEGO STATE TEACHERS COLLEGE IN NEW
YORK.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Engagement ring

Date learned: 12-23-1963

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POLISH SUPERSTITION

IF YOU'RE TOO HAPPY AT YOUR WEDDING, YOU'LL BE CRYING
ALL THE TIME AFTERWARD.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AS A YOUNG GIRL IN A POLISH NEIGHBORHOOD.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Ceremony

Date learned: 12-26-1963

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ITALIAN

IT'S BAD LUCK TO PUT A BABY'S SHOES ON THE TABLE.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AS A YOUNG WOMAN LIVING IN ITALY.

Where learned: ITALY ; NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Furniture (bed, table, chair, etc.)
BELIEF -- Bad luck Clothing (dress, hat, shoes, suit, etc.)

Date learned: 12-27-1963

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IT'S BAD LUCK IF AN OLD LADY WALKS IN FRONT OF YOU,
ACROSS YOUR PATH. AND THE OLDER THE WOMAN, THE
WORSE THE LUCK.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AS A YOUNG GIRL.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 12-26-1963

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POLISH SUPERSTITION

NEVER RAISE YOUR HAND TO YOUR MOTHER, FOR IF YOU DO,
THEN WHEN YOU DIE NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO SHUT THE
COFFIN TO BURY YOU; YOUR HAND WILL BE FROZEN UP IN
THAT SAME POSITION.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AS A YOUNG GIRL IN A POLISH NEIGHBORHOOD.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 12-26-1963

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ITALIAN SUPERSTITION

DON'T THROW MONEY ON A BED OR YOU'LL LOSE IT.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER MOTHER WHO ONCE LIVED IN ITALY.

Where learned: ITALY ; NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Daily Life
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth

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IF A FISHERMAN'S BAIT ACCIDENTALLY FALLS INTO A GLASS
OF BEER, AND HE TAKES IT OUT AND USES IT RIGHT AWAY,
HE WILL CATCH A FISH IMMEDIATELY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM A CANADIAN FISHERMAN C. 1945.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion

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