Friday, March 10, 2006

A little bit of folk lore

A to Z
ACORN
An acorn should be carried to bring luck and ensure a long life.
An acorn at the window will keep lightning out

AMBER
Amber beads, worn as a necklace, can protect against illness or cure colds.

APPLE
Think of five or six names of boys or girls you might marry, As you twist the stem of an apple, recite the names until the stem comes off. You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off.

An apple a day
Keeps the doctor away.
If you cut an apple in half and count how many seeds are inside, you will also know how many children you will have.

BABY
To predict the sex of a baby: Suspend a wedding band held by a piece of thread over the palm of the pregnant girl. If the ring swings in an oval or circular motion the baby will be a girl. If the ring swings in a straight line the baby will be a boy.

BASEBALL BAT
Spit on a new bat before using it for the first time to make it lucky

BED
It's bad luck to put a hat on a bed.
If you make a bedspread, or a quilt, be sure to finish it or marriage will never come to you
Placing a bed facing north and south brings misfortune.
You must get out of bed on the same side that you get in or you will have bad luck.
When making the bed, don't interrupt your work, or you will spend a restless night in it.

BEE
If a bee enters your home, it's a sign that you will soon have a visitor.
If you kill the bee, you will have bad luck, or the visitor will be unpleasant.
A swarm of bees settling on a roof is an omen that the house will burn down.

BELL
The sound of bells drives away demons because they're afraid of the loud noise.
When a bell rings, a new Fairy has received their wings.

BIRD
A bird in the house is a sign of a death.
If a robin flies into a room through a window, death will shortly follow.

BIRTH
Monday's child is fair of face;
Tuesday's child is full of grace;
Wednesday's child is full of woe;
Thursday's child has far to go;
Friday's child is loving and giving;
Saturday's child works hard for a living.
But the child that is born on a Sunday day
is fair and wise, good and gay.

BIRTHDAY CAKE
If you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake with the first puff you will get your wish.

BLUE
To protect yourself from a evil witch, wear a blue bead.
Touch blue
And your wish
Will come true.

BREAD
Before slicing a new loaf of bread, make the sign of the cross on it.
A loaf of bread should never be turned upside down after a slice has been cut from it.

BRIDGE
If you say good-bye to a friend on a bridge, you will never see each other again.

BROOM
Do not lean a broom against a bed. The evil spirits in the broom will cast a spell on the bed.
If you sweep trash out the door after dark, it will bring a stranger to visit.
If someone is sweeping the floor and sweeps over your feet, you'll never get married.
Never take a broom along when you move. Throw it out and buy a new one.
To prevent an unwelcome guest from returning, sweep out the room they stayed in immediately after they leave.

BUTTERFLY
If the first butterfly you see in the year is white, you will have good luck all year.
Three butterflies together mean good luck.

CANDLE
If a candle lighted as part of a ceremony blows out, it is a sign that evil spirits are nearby.

CALF
If the first calf born during the winter is white, the winter will be a bad one.

CAT
If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.

CHEEKS
If your cheeks suddenly feel on fire, someone is talking about you.

CHILL
If you get a chill up your back or goosebumps, it means that someone is walking over your grave.

CHIMNEY SWEEP
It's very lucky to meet a chimney sweep by chance. Make a wish when sighting one, and the wish will come true.

CIGARETTES
It is bad luck to light three cigarettes with the same match.

CIRCLE
Evil spirits can't harm you when you stand inside a circle.

CLOCK
If a clock which has not been working suddenly chimes, there will be a death in the family.

CLOVER
It's good luck to find a four-leaf clover. Clover protects human beings and animals from the spell of magicians and the wiles of fairies, and brings good luck to those who keep it in the house.

COIN
It's bad luck to pick up a coin if it's tails side up. Good luck comes if it's heads up.

COMB
To drop a comb while you are combing your hair is a sign of a coming disappointment.

COW
Cows lifting their tails is a sure sign that rain is coming.

CRACK
Don't step on a crack on a sidewalk or walkway.

Step on a crack
Break your mother's back.

CRICKET
A cricket in the house brings good luck.

COUNTING CROWS
One's bad,
Two's luck,
Three's health,
Four's wealth,
Five's sickness,
Six is death.

DANDELION
Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem. That is the number of children you will have.

DOG
A dog howling at night when someone in the house is sick is a bad omen.

DOOR
It's bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one used to come into it.

DREAMS
If you dream of death it's a sign of a birth, if you dream of birth, it's a sign of death.
Dream of running: a sign of a big change in your life.
Dreams at night are a devil's delight
Dreams in the morning, heed the God's warning.

EARS
If your right ear itches, someone is speaking well of you.
If your left ear itches, someone is speaking ill of you.
Left for love and right for spite:
Left or right, good at night.

ELEPHANT
Pictures of an elephant bring luck, but only if they face a door.

EYE
If your right eye twitches there will soon be a birth in the family.
If the left eye twitches there will soon be a death in the family.
To cure a sty, stand at a crossroads and recite
Sty, sty, leave my eye
Take the next one coming by.

EYELASH
If an eyelash falls out, put it on the back of the hand, make a wish and throw it over your shoulder.
If it flies off the hand the wish will be granted.

FINGERNAILS
It is bad luck to cut your fingernails on Friday or Sunday.
Fingernail cuttings should be saved, burned, or buried.

FISH
A fish should always be eaten from the head toward the tail.
Dream of fish: someone you know is pregnant.

FISHING
Throw back the first fish you catch then you'll be lucky the whole day fishing.
If you count the number of fish you caught, you will catch no more that day.
It's bad luck to say the word "pig" while fishing at sea.

FLAG
It brings bad luck for a flag to touch the ground.

FLOWER
The day you find the first flower of the season can be used as an omen.
First Flower of Spring:

Monday means good fortune,
Tuesday means greatest attempts will be successful,
Wednesday means marriage,
Thursday means warning of small profits,
Friday means wealth,
Saturday means misfortune,
Sunday means excellent luck for weeks.

FOOT
If the bottom of your right foot itches, you are going to take a trip.

FORK
To drop a fork means a man is coming to visit.

FRIDAY
A bed changed on Friday will bring bad dreams.
Any ship that sails on Friday will have bad luck.
You should never start a trip on Friday or you will meet misfortune.
Never start to make a garment on Friday unless you can finish it the same day.

FROG
A frog brings good luck to the house it enters.
The dried body of a frog worn in a silk bag around the neck averts epilepsy and other fits.

FRIDAY
(The Friday before ostara)
A child born on ostara has a gift of healing.
If a boy, he should go into the ministry of sort
Cut your hair on ostara to prevent headaches in the year to come
A person who dies on ostara will go right to the summerlands
Shed no blood on ostara work no wood, hammer no nail.

HAND
If the palm of your right hand itches it means you will soon be getting money.
If the palm of your left hand itches it means you will soon be paying out money.

HORSESHOE
A horseshoe, hung above the doorway, will bring good luck to a home.
In most of Europe protective horseshoes are placed in a downward facing position, but in some parts of Italy people believe that the shoes must be turned upward or "the luck will run out."
A horseshoe hung in the bedroom will keep nightmares away.

ITCH
If your nose itches you will soon be kissed by a fool.

If your nose itches
Your mouth is in danger.
You'll kiss a fool,
And meet a stranger.
Rub an itch to wood
It will come to good.

IVY
Ivy growing on a house protects the inhabitants from evil.

KNIFE
A knife as a gift from a lover means that the love will soon end.
A knife placed under the bed during childbirth will ease the pain of labor.
If a friend gives you a knife, you should give him a coin, or your friendship will soon be broken.
It will cause a quarrel if knives are crossed at the table.
It is bad luck to close a pocket knife unless you were the one who opened it.

Knife falls, gentleman calls;
Fork falls, lady calls;
Spoon falls, baby calls.

LADDER
It is bad luck to walk under a ladder.

LADYBUG
If a young girl catches a ladybug and then releases it, the direction in which it flies away will be the direction from which her future husband will come.
It is bad luck to kill a ladybug.

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home.
Your house is on fire,
Your children all roam.

LEAF
If you catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn you will not catch a cold all winter.

LETTUCE
Lettuce is believed to have magical and healing properties, including the power to arouse love and counteract the effects of wine.
Lettuce promotes child bearing if eaten by young women, and certain types of salad can bring on labor in pregnant women.

LIE
Cross my heart and hope to die,
Cut my throat if I tell a lie.

LIZARD
To dream of a lizard is a sign that you have a secret enemy.

MANDRAKE
Mandrake is a mysterious plant believed to have powers of preventing sterility in men and animals, causing barren women to bear children, and compelling love.
Mandrake is thought to have aphrodisiac and fertilizing properties.
Clairvoyants use mandrake to increase their visions to enable them to see strange and wonderful things.

MILK
It's bad luck to let milk boil over.
1. MIRROR
To break a mirror means 7 years bad luck.
It is unlucky to see your face in a mirror by candlelight.
A mirror should be covered during a thunderstorm because it attracts lightning.
If a mirror in the house falls and breaks by itself, someone in the house will die soon.

MISTLETOE
Mistletoe in the house protects it from thunder and lightning.
It also cures many diseases, is an antidote to poison and brings good luck and fertility.
A girl standing under a mistletoe cannot refuse to be kissed by anyone who claims the privilege.

MOTH
A white moth inside the house or trying to enter the house means death.
NOSE
If your nose itches, someone is coming to see you.
If it's the right nostril, the visitor will be a female, left nostril, male.

ONION
An onion cut in half and placed under the bed of a sick person will draw off fever and poisons.
A wish will come true if you make it while burning onions.

OPAL
Unless you were born in October, it's unlucky to wear opals.
OWL
It is bad luck to see an owl in the sunlight.

PENCIL If you use the same pencil to take a test that you used for studying for the test, the pencil will remember the answers.

PEPPER
If you spill pepper you will have a serious argument with your best friend.

PHOTOGRAPH
If 3 people are photographed together, the one in the middle will die first.

RABBIT'S FOOT
A rabbit's foot will bring luck and protect the owner from evil spirits if carried in the pocket.

RAINBOW
A rainbow in the Eastern sky,
The morrow will be fine and dry.
A rainbow in the West that gleams,
Rain tomorrow falls in streams.

RAVEN
To kill a raven is to harm the spirit of goddess who visits the world in the form of a raven.

RED
A red ribbon should be placed on a child who has been sick to keep the illness from returning.

ROBIN
A wish made upon seeing the first robin in spring will come true - but only if you complete the wish before the robin flies away.

ROCKING CHAIR
If you leave a rocking chair rocking when empty, it invites evil spirits to come into your house to sit in the rocking chair.

ROSEMARY
Rosemary planted by the doorstep will keep the evil eye away.

SALT
Bad luck will follow the spilling of salt unless a pinch is thrown over the left shoulder into the face of the devil waiting there.
Put salt on the doorstep of a new house and no evil can enter. Salty soup is a sign that the cook is in love.

SCISSORS
If you drop scissors, it means your lover is being unfaithful to you.

SEA GULL
Three seagulls flying together, directly overhead, are a warning of death soon to come.

SHOES
Do not place shoes upon a table, for this will bring bad luck for the day, cause trouble with your mate and you might even lose your job as a result.
It's bad luck to leave shoes upside down.

SLEEP
You sleep best with your head to the north and your feet to the south.

SNEEZE
Place a hand in front of your mouth when sneezing.
Your soul may escape otherwise.
The devil can enter your body when you sneeze.
Having someone say, may the god's bless you," drives the devil away

If you sneeze on a Monday, you sneeze for danger;
Sneeze on a Tuesday, kiss a stranger;
Sneeze on a Wednesday, sneeze for a letter;
Sneeze on a Thursday, something better;
Sneeze on a Friday, sneeze for sorrow;
Sneeze on a Saturday, see your sweetheart tomorrow.
Sneeze on a Sunday, and the devil will have domination over you all week.

One for sorrow Two for joy
Three for a letter
Four for a boy.
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret, never to be told

SPARROW
Sparrows carry the souls of the dead, it's unlucky to kill one.

SPIDER
Seeing a spider run down a web in the afternoon means you'll take a trip.
A spider is a repellent against plague when worn around the neck in a walnut shell.
STARS
All wishes on shooting stars come true.

Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.

SWAN
A swan's feather, sewed into the husband's pillow, will ensure fidelity.

THIRTEEN
If 13 people sit down at a table to eat, one of them will die before the year is over.

TONGUE
If you bite your tongue while eating, it is because you have recently told a lie.

UMBRELLA
Dropping an umbrella on the floor means that there will be a murder in the house.
It's bad luck to open an umbrella inside the house, especially if you put it over your head.

VALENTINE'S DAY
If a woman sees a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it means she will marry a sailor.
If she sees a sparrow, she will marry a poor man and be very happy.
If she sees a goldfinch, she will marry a millionaire.

VEIL
A bride's veil protects her from evil spirits who are jealous of happy people.
WATERMELON
A watermelon will grow in your stomach if you swallow a watermelon seed.
WEATHER

Red sky at night,
Sailor's delight.
Red sky at morning
Sailors take warning
Rain, rain, go away,
Come again another day.

Rain on the green grass
Rain on the hillside,
But not on me.

WOOD
Knock three times on wood after mentioning good fortune so evil spirits won't ruin it.
WINDOW
All windows should be opened at the moment of death so that the soul can leave.

WISH
If you make a wish while throwing a coin into a well or fountain, the wish will come true.
Wish I may,
Wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.
If you tell someone your wish, it won't come true.

WISHBONE
Two people pull apart the dried breastbone of a chicken or turkey until it cracks and breaks, each one making a wish while doing so. The person who gets the long half of the wishbone will have his or her wish come true.

X
The number of Xs in the palm of your right hand is the number of children you will have.
YAWN
A yawn is a sign that danger is near.
Cover your mouth when you yawn, or your soul can go out of your body along with the yawn.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Connie and Rob said...

I love this list. My mother has heard a lot of these. Her mother was very superstitious.

I grew up with this one and just used it yesterday...
WOOD
Knock three times on wood after mentioning good fortune so evil spirits won't ruin it.

Take care,
Connie

March 11, 2006 at 6:56 AM  
Blogger Leslie Shelor said...

I'm amazed at how many of these I have heard, from childhood on.

March 11, 2006 at 12:17 PM  

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