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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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New broom sweep clean, but old broom know the corners.

Submitter comment: This is in reference to younger people taking over an
older person's job. The younger person may do a good job
but the older person can do it twice as well.

Where learned: VIRGIN ISLANDS ; Saint Thomas

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION

Subject headings: Favorites
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-00-1991

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If yo tink yo bundle of dirty clothes too heavy, try
picking up yo neighbor's own.

Submitter comment: People always believe that they have the worst of everything
until they realize that other people have problems too.

Where learned: VIRGIN ISLANDS ; Saint Thomas

Keyword(s): tink = think ; yo = you or your

James Callow Keyword(s): Advice -- Positive ; Metaphor: problems = bundle of clothes ; RELATIVITY ; WEIGHT

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 02-00-1991

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Drunk man talk what he tink when he sober.

Submitter comment: A drunk person says what he's thinking when he's sober.

Where learned: VIRGIN ISLANDS ; Saint Thomas

Keyword(s): tink = think

James Callow Keyword(s): INHIBITIONS ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 02-00-1991

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Yo have mo front 'n Katie Ben.

Submitter comment: You have more "gumption" than Katie Ben. The story goes back
to the 1940's in Saint Thomas when there was a problem with
the congregation of a Methodist church. Everyone was afraid
to talk about it, including the minister, even though all knew
a problem existed. Katie Ben, a child, got up in church and
spoke out or took the "front." The informant has no idea what
the problem was at the time but that is where this saying came
from.

Where learned: VIRGIN ISLANDS ; Saint Thomas

Keyword(s): 'n = than ; mo = more ; Yo = you

James Callow Keyword(s): Effrontery Boldness Audacity ; Personal name in proverb

Subject headings: Favorites
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 03-00-1991

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Willing is a good man; Able is a better one.

Submitter comment: Being willing to try to do something is good but being able to
do something is better.

Where learned: VIRGIN ISLANDS ; Saint Thomas

James Callow Keyword(s): NAMES ; PERSONIFICATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-00-1991

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Yo is a White Sam.

Submitter comment: A White Sam is a stupid person or one that does the
unnecessary. The story goes that White Sam
wanted to ride to town 8 miles away but he didn't have a
saddle and the occasion demanded that he be dressed in his
finest. White Sam walked 14 miles to West End
(7 miles there and 7 back) to borrow a saddle, then rode to
town in high style.

Where learned: VIRGIN ISLANDS ; Saint Thomas

Keyword(s): Yo = you

James Callow Keyword(s): Fool Numskull

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-00-1991

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Soap and water clean hand and face but not evil heart.

Where learned: VIRGIN ISLANDS ; Saint Thomas

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-00-1991

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Shut yo do' an lick yo chil'.

Submitter comment: This is not a literal suggestion but means that one should
deal with personal matters privately and not let the whole
world be privy to your business.

Where learned: VIRGIN ISLANDS ; Saint Thomas

Keyword(s): an = and ; chile = child ; do = door ; lick = spank (punish) ; yo = your

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-00-1991

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Fish trap don make noise, but it do good work.

Submitter comment: A person's effectiveness is not measured by the amount of
noise he makes but by his accomplishments.

Where learned: VIRGIN ISLANDS ; Saint Thomas

Keyword(s): don = don't

James Callow Keyword(s): BRAGGING ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of quality
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-00-1991

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When yo' dig up ol' graves, dem smell stink.

Submitter comment: When you bring up old grievances and quarrels you can expect
for the unpleasant results to arise as well.

Where learned: VIRGIN ISLANDS ; Saint Thomas

Keyword(s): dem = them ; ol'= old ; Yo = you

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-00-1991

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If win' don' blow yo won' see foul under cloes.

Submitter comment: You won't know the true circumstances until something
unexpected happens to upset the normal course of events.

Where learned: VIRGIN ISLANDS ; Saint Thomas

Keyword(s): cloes = clothes ; don' = don't ; win' = wind ; won' = won't ; Yo = you

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-00-1991

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showing 11 items

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