Old Wives’ Tales

Searching for a home remedy for a sore throat and cough led me to a number of old wives’ tales and resulted in this month’s contribution for Shimelle’s ten on the tenth:

  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away. (I have an apple five days a week and rarely have to go to the doctor, so there may be some truth here.)
  • Breaking a mirror will bring seven years’ bad luck.
  • Drinking coffee will stunt your growth.
  • Eating bread crusts will make your hair curly. (I wish this one was true. It would certainly be less expensive than having perms several times a year.)
  • Expectant mothers with heartburn can expect a baby born with lots of hair. (I had not heard this one until a couple of weeks ago, so I was surprised to find that it’s a common belief.)
  • Friday the 13th is a day fraught with peril. (DH and I married on a Friday the 13th nearly 39 years ago; clearly we don’t subscribe to this one!)
  • If you use the same pencil to take a test that you used for studying for the test, the pencil will remember the answers. (I haven’t heard this one before, but I bet a lot of kids wish this one was true!)
  • Put your elbow in your ear, turn into the opposite sex. (I’ve never seen or heard this one anywhere than from my mother, but it was one of her favorites. I can remember trying to put my elbow in my ear but, fortunately, found it impossible to accomplish.)
  • Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.
  • Throw salt over your left shoulder to bring good luck.

Do you have other old wives’ tales that come to mind? I’d love to hear them.

BTW, gargling with warm salt water, as gross as that sounds, turned out to be the best remedy for my sore throat.


7 thoughts on “Old Wives’ Tales

  1. Love your post and i had dreadful heart burn with both my boys and they both had a good head of hair when born,still waiting on the curly hair too,lol,gargle with salt water evry time i have a sore throat..hubby can`t stand doing it though!!
    Mum always said when you see a new baby you always give a penny for luck.
    If you see a penny pick it up and pass it on then all day long you will have good luck.

  2. Ladies, thank you for your additions to my wives’ tales post. It was fun to see what you came up with, none of which I had heard before! It’s interesting to try to figure out the line between wisdom and superstition for each of these. Thanks again for sharing!

  3. Don’t bring May blossom into the house, or put new shoes on the table, both bring bad luck! If you give a purse as a gift you must put a coin in it so that the purse will never be empty. And my favourite bit of nonsense. If you give or receive a knife it must be exchanged with a coin. What on earth does that mean? I one this post, I wish I had thought of it!

  4. There’s a few in there I hadn’t heard before – love the one about the pencil. Now as for broken mirrors – my Aunt’s take on it was you had to bury it to cancel out the bad luck. I forget what she actually said but that was the gist of it.

  5. My Mum always gave us warm salt water, or soluble aspirin to gargle with when we had sore throats.
    When I woke up and looked out of the window this morning, I saw a single magpie (one for sorrow) sitting on a roof. It’s a good job I’m not as superstitious as my dad, he probably would have stayed in bed!

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