Superstition

AlchoPwn

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#91
Picked up the Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain & Ireland today - shoes on Table, no plausible explanation offered but suggests a corpse laying there. Also "Boots placed where they could not reach the ground suggested the dangling of the body - and the gallows" (not the slightest evidence to support this.). Most interesting is that the first known reference only dates from 1869. Who else can I bore ?
Umm... Putting boots up on things is kinda dirty. I had no idea there was any more behind that prohibition than germ theory.
 

AlchoPwn

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#92
In my deepest self, I know it has no effect ( there are so many damn magpies around here that I'm lucky I have no superstitions regarding them) , but there's that little niggling, ' what if ' that flashes on at some moments. Having had the unverse fequently drop piles of ill fortune on my head, I ' know ' that sticking a finger up at the whole thing would result in something walloping me over the head. :)
I have a friend from Australia, and she says they wear bike helmets with zip ties arranged like spikes all over them to stop aggressive magpies swooping and pecking their heads during their nesting season.
magpie-4-1-2.jpg

The first time I saw a person in a bike helmet covered with zip ties I was bemused and a bit weirded out. Apparently the zip ties deter the magpies, much like corks on strings on swagman (tramp) hats in Australia used to do (allegedly) for flies. Having experienced Australian flies, I think the corks on strings are less plausible.
 

PeteS

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#93
I have a friend from Australia, and she says they wear bike helmets with zip ties arranged like spikes all over them to stop aggressive magpies swooping and pecking their heads during their nesting season.
View attachment 12423

The first time I saw a person in a bike helmet covered with zip ties I was bemused and a bit weirded out. Apparently the zip ties deter the magpies, much like corks on strings on swagman (tramp) hats in Australia used to do (allegedly) for flies. Having experienced Australian flies, I think the corks on strings are less plausible.
Amazing - never heard of this before.
 

Coal

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#94
Amazing - never heard of this before.
When I lived in Singapore, '67 or so, we had mynah birds nesting in the roof one year and they defended their territory by swooping down and attacking us as we left the house, pecking at the top of the head. For some weeks it was less trouble to stay out of the garden, especially down the side of the house where the nest appeared to be.
 

Krepostnoi

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#95
If one left the house, then had to return almost instantly for a brief period, e.g. to retrieve a forgotten item, one had to sit down and count to ten.
The Russian twist on that is not to sit down and count, but to look in the mirror and meet the eyes of your reflection. Alas, I don't know the reason why.
Given the work that was required to keep even a modest house sensibly clean and the working and living conditions of even 100 years ago, that might just be sound common sense.
Also a Russian thing: shoes off at the door. The further East you go, actually, the sooner one is expected to remove one's footwear: certainly in Malaysia and Vietnam it's something of a faux pas* even to cross the threshold shod, whereas in Russia you're allowed as far as the hallway.

I've always understood it to be a courtesy to the mistress of the house**, at least in Russia, in terms of not adding to the burden of keeping the dwelling clean.

*avez-vous vu ce que j'ai fait la?

** Yes, all the full patriarchal weight of that expression is intended, give the socio-cultural and socio-historical context.
 

GerdaWordyer

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#96
I found a penny yesterday. I don't usually think finding a penny is a lucky thing, but I found this one after a hard rain washed things around. It was a 1957 penny--my birth year. Should I carry it forever in my pocket or put it in my shoe?
 

Bad Bungle

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#99
I found a penny yesterday. I don't usually think finding a penny is a lucky thing, but I found this one after a hard rain washed things around. It was a 1957 penny--my birth year. Should I carry it forever in my pocket or put it in my shoe?

Impress your mates by saying you found it metal detecting.
Then bore your mates by telling them how much you spent on the detector.
 

escargot

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Ooh tell us more young Crone.
Oi Cheeky!

I used to carry an old half-crown coin for luck, mainly because when half-crowns were legal tender I was a kid and would have felt RICH to own one! It fitted neatly in my jeans watch pocket.

When I met the ex and we got to know each other, for some reason one day there was a half-crown on the pub table. One of us picked it up, can't remember who, and the other said 'Oi! That's mine!'

Turned out we each carried a half-crown for luck in our watch pockets, both dated 1952. Spooky eh!

That relationship is long over but the coins are still together, in a box in the loft somewhere.
 

Bad Bungle

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At Primary School in the '60s the Dinner Ladies put sixpences and thruppenny bits in the Christmas Pud at the end of term. If you found one you had STAND on your chair in the Dinner hall, wave the coin in the air and say "Hello little sixpence" or " Hello little thruppence" whilst receiving a smattering of applause from your choking peers. This wasn't a superstition, just a ritual humiliation marginally compensated by the monetary remuneration.
I guess the practice died out long before the introduction of laws stating that you can't hide an inedible item in an edible one (which is why US Customs confiscate Kinder Eggs). I state there were many items on my plate that were inedible - is there a School Dinners thread ?
 
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I have a friend from Australia, and she says they wear bike helmets with zip ties arranged like spikes all over them to stop aggressive magpies swooping and pecking their heads during their nesting season.
View attachment 12423

The first time I saw a person in a bike helmet covered with zip ties I was bemused and a bit weirded out. Apparently the zip ties deter the magpies, much like corks on strings on swagman (tramp) hats in Australia used to do (allegedly) for flies. Having experienced Australian flies, I think the corks on strings are less plausible.
These politicians need cable-tie helmets.

Swooping from the sky with a blood-curdling shriek, the magpies that gather around parliament in Canberra have been tormenting politicians by pecking them on the head.

MPs have been left bleeding and some have suffered injuries to their eyes, officials say.

Fiona Knight, the building services branch assistant secretary, said that the magpies had become a menace in many courtyards and outdoor spaces. According to experts, they are unlikely to leave of their own accord; Australian magpies can occupy the same territory for their entire life — up to 20 years.

To combat the threat, countermeasures such as scares resembling hawks are being deployed, including recordings of the noise they make.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/mps-under-attack-from-parliaments-angry-birds-3sfbpcvtd
 

GNC

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Are magpies the Southern Hemisphere's equivalent of seagulls?
 

escargot

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At Primary School in the '60s the Dinner Ladies put sixpences and thruppenny bits in the Christmas Pud at the end of term. If you found one you had STAND on your chair in the Dinner hall, wave the coin in the air and say "Hello little sixpence" or " Hello little thruppence" whilst receiving a smattering of applause from your choking peers.
At work if I pick up loose change from the floor I say 'Come to Momma, little penny!' before pocketing it.

I carry a magnet on an extendable rod to collect the more elusive coins.
 

escargot

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Swooping from the sky with a blood-curdling shriek, the magpies that gather around parliament in Canberra have been tormenting politicians by pecking them on the head.

MPs have been left bleeding and some have suffered injuries to their eyes, officials say.
We badly need those magpies over'ere.
 

Krepostnoi

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I carry a magnet on an extendable rod to collect the more elusive coins.
Are you telling me that through some sort of bitter irony my coppers are actually ferrous? I had kind of reconciled myself to the fact that silver coins had no actual silver in them, but now I feel properly brassed off. Are there no depths they won't plumb?
 

escargot

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After reading a section in Animals In Translation by Temple Grandin about how pigeons and pigs have been observed to develop superstitions I totally dropped any slight nod to superstition myself. It is a function of the brain connected with learning that can become overblown and is totally meaningless.
Well yeah, we knew that! We don't really think we'll win the lottery if we get the big end of the wishbone.

It'd be nice though. Just saying.
 

escargot

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Are you telling me my coppers are actually ferrous? I had kind of reconciled myself to the fact that silver coins had no actual silver in them, but now I feel properly brassed off. Are there no depths they won't plumb?
Haha, I see what you did there!

'Copper' coins can be picked up with a magnet. Silver ones can't, except I think 5p pieces. I always, ALWAYS pick up loose change wherever it is.* It's like a little personal superstition.

*Except if it's dangerous. I'm not stupid. I send someone else.
 

MissL

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I have a couple of lifelong superstitious habits (greeting a solitary magpie, chucking split salt over my left shoulder) which I picked up from my gran when I was very young, and I am always interested to hear about other people's superstitions. But it dawned on me recently that I have 'caught' a new superstition.

I met MrL when I was nearly 20 and he holds the superstition, first heard at his secondary school and also followed by his schoolfriends, that you have to avoid walking over three drain covers on the pavement or you pick up bad luck. I went along with this, mainly because it was just easier when walking along next to someone (even sometimes holding hands!!!) to be ready to lurch suddenly to one side of the pavement or another to avoid the three drain covers. He would also get anxious if I stepped on them myself. I would never mock or criticise someone else's superstition and reader, I married him.

Fast forward nearly (*cough*) 20 years, and a few weeks ago I realised when I was walking home from work by myself that I was avoiding the triple drain covers - there are two on my route and I have always skipped over them. Perhaps a kind of muscle memory, but I found that when I deliberately walked over a trio I did in fact feel a bit uncomfortable. So I have picked up a superstition that I'd never heard of for the first two decades of my life, that I didn't believe when I first encountered, and that I was under no obligation to follow when I wasn't with MrL...
 

Mythopoeika

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Haha, I see what you did there!

'Copper' coins can be picked up with a magnet. Silver ones can't, except I think 5p pieces. I always, ALWAYS pick up loose change wherever it is.* It's like a little personal superstition.

*Except if it's dangerous. I'm not stupid. I send someone else.
Yeah, the copper coins these days are a sandwich of copper and steel. They used to be solid copper once.
 

AlchoPwn

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These politicians need cable-tie helmets. Swooping from the sky with a blood-curdling shriek, the magpies that gather around parliament in Canberra have been tormenting politicians by pecking them on the head. MPs have been left bleeding and some have suffered injuries to their eyes, officials say. Fiona Knight, the building services branch assistant secretary, said that the magpies had become a menace in many courtyards and outdoor spaces. According to experts, they are unlikely to leave of their own accord; Australian magpies can occupy the same territory for their entire life — up to 20 years. To combat the threat, countermeasures such as scares resembling hawks are being deployed, including recordings of the noise they make. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/mps-under-attack-from-parliaments-angry-birds-3sfbpcvtd
Hitchcock for PM.
 

GerdaWordyer

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I found a penny yesterday. I don't usually think finding a penny is a lucky thing, but I found this one after a hard rain washed things around. It was a 1957 penny--my birth year. Should I carry it forever in my pocket or put it in my shoe?

Impress your mates by saying you found it metal detecting.
Then bore your mates by telling them how much you spent on the detector.
Ha! We became fans of the TV Detectorists a couple of years ago and were pleased to find a decent detector at a thrift store around last Christmas.:curt:
 

Yithian

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Boots or shoes on a bed were bad luck.
I've just remembered three more Korean ones that have fairly wide currency:

1) You don't buy footwear as a gift for a boy- or girlfriend as it encourages them to leave you (walk away...).

2) Washing your hair the night before a big exam is unwise as it may 'wash away' the facts you have memorised.

3) Whistling at night may summon snakes (this, I think, is rather rural and old-fashioned. It comes to me through my mother-in-law who always tells me to be quiet when I whistle in the ubiquitous subterranean carparks with great acoustics). To which my daughter always replies. "Day-O! Dayee-ee-ee-O!" [daylight come and me wanna go home...]
 
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