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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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PUTTING A HAT ON THE BED MEANS THAT DEATH WILL FOLLOW.

Submitter comment: LEARNED WHILE GROWING UP IN PRESTONSBURG, KENTUCKY IN

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; LEBANON ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; PRESTONSBURG

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO ROCK AN EMPTY ROCKING CHAIR. THE
INFORMANT BELIEVES IN THIS STRONGLY. HE GOT FURIOUS WHEN
HIS CHILD ROCKED THE ROCKING CHAIR WITH HIS FOOT. THE
BELIEVE MEANS THAT DEATH OR A VERY BAD THING WILL HAPPEN
TO A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. THE INFORMANT SAID THAT
EVERYONE IN HIS FAMILY AND EVERYONE HE KNEW BELIEVED
THIS WHEN HE WAS GROWING UP IN PRESTONBURG, KENTUCKY.
AND IT IS STILL STRONGLY (UNDERLINED) BELIEVED.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; PRESTONSBURG

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO BURN BRUSH ON SUNDAY.

Submitter comment: BELIEVED IN KENTUCKY IN FARMING AREAS. THE IMPLICATION IS

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; TENNESSEE ; LEBANON ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; FRANKFORT ; KENTUCKY, ASSUMED ; LOUISVILLE ; PRESTONSBURG

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system:
BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO HAVE A BLACK CAT CROSS YOUR PATH (ANYWHERE,
NOT JUST IN FRONT). IF YOU DON'T KNOW THAT THE CAT IS THERE
AND YOU TURN AND SEE IT BEHIND YOU AND IT CROSSES, YOU
MUST GO BACK AND WALK OVER WHERE YOU WERE. IF YOU DON'T SEE
IT, YOU ARE O.K.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT SAID HIS FAMILY AND EVERYONE HE KNEW BELIEVED

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; PRESTONSBURG

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO WALK UNDER A LADDER.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT SAID HE WOULD NEVER WALK UNDER A LADDER. HE

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; PRESTONSBURG

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 00001928-1946

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

YOU'LL NEED TO LICK THAT CALF OVER.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT SAID THAT HE HAD HEARD THIS EXPRESSION ALL HIS
LIFE WHILE GROWING UP IN PRESTONSBURG, KENTUCKY. IN PARTICULAR
HE REMEMBERED HIS MOTHER, REBECCA BURCHETT, TELLING HIM THAT IF
HE DIDN'T DO THE JOB RIGHT, THAT HE WOLD HAVE TO LICK THE CALF
OVER. IT MEANT THAT IF YOU DIDN'T DO THE JOB RIGHT THE FIRST
TIME, IT WOULD HAVE TO BE DONE OVER AGAIN TILL IT WAS DONE
RIGHT. THIS WAS IN PRESTONSBURG, KENTUCKY, BUT HE HAS ALSO
HEARD IT IN LEBANON, TENNESSEE USED IN THE SAME WAY.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; PRESTONSBURG

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR: LIMITED COMMITMENT

THE LORD WILLING AND THE CREEK DON'T RISE.

Submitter comment: THIS EXPRESSION IS SAID WHEN SOMEONE ASKS YOU IF YOU WILL BE AT A
CERTAIN PLACE IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE. YOU REPLY WITH THIS
EXPRESSION TO SHOW THAT YOU WILL BE THERE IF IT IS IN YOUR POWER
TO ACCOMPLISH THIS, BUT THAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER THAT EVERYTHING
IS NOT IN YOUR HANDS TO DO. THE INFORMANT HAS HEARD THIS ALL OF
HIS LIFE, WHILE GROWING UP IN PRESTONSBURG, KENTUCKY 1928-1952,
AND IN LEBANON, TENNESSEE DURING THE PAST FOUR YEARS (1972).

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; TENNESSEE ; LEBANON ; PRESTONSBURG

Keyword(s): LIMITS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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