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Readers Respond: What Is Your Favorite Old Wives' Tale?

Responses: 18


Eastern Europeans are a superstitious lot. We believe in omens, fortune telling, and old wives' tales. Some are bizarre and some are laughable and some, have actual basis in fact. In my Polish family some of the old wives' tales I grew up with were that if a bird landed on a home's windowsill, there would be a death in the house. Likewise, if you didn't see your shadow at the Christmas Eve wigilia table, you wouldn't live out the year. When silverware dropped on the floor, it meant company was coming -- a man if it was a knife or fork, and a woman if it was a spoon. What are the old wives' tales you grew up with? Share Your Tales

Money comming

If you drop money, it means there is more on the way or if you kiss your money before paying it out, it will come back to you.
—Guest Linda

New shoes on the table, dropped knife.

One is never to put newly purchased shoes on the kitchen table...as when entering from shopping. This is an omen of very bad luck to the offender! Also, if a knife is dropped and falls on Its back with the blade up...this means a terrible fight will happen soon. My paternal grandma passed this on and was from the spis region of Slovakia.
—Guest K. Ragan

Spilling Salt Means a Quarrel

In russia, if salt is spilled, it is believed to bring about quarrels in the home, so water is poured on the salt to subdue or dilute it and any arguments that might arise.
—Guest ana

Wear Red to Guard Against Jealousy

Wear a small red ribbon, that can be hidden, so some people will not look at you with jealousy.
—Guest Helen G

Eye of the Herring

Whoever is lucky to get the head of the herring with the eye will find their true love in the coming year.
—Guest rozybon

Eat Pork But Never Chicken on New Year's

Eat PORK on NEW YEAR's and you shall live HIGH on the HOG all year. Eat CHICKEN and you will be SCRATCHIN' for MONEY all year!
—Guest connie vedrinski fortune

Eat Pork for Good Luck in the New Year

...same tradition in my Czech/Hungarian family -- roast pork was our New Year's dinner.
—Guest hugh

Left Leg

When you get up in the morning you should get up first with your left leg to have a good day.
—Guest Guest GM

Corner of the Table

If a young girl sits at the corner of the table, they say that she will never get married.
—Guest Guest GM

Cats in cribs

Do not let a cat near a baby sleeping in a crib or it will jump in and smother it
—Guest Gzrebian

Friends= Enemy

Be careful who your friends are and who you like because they might become your enemy.
—Guest Amidou

Old wives tale

Put a coin in a purse or wallet that you give for a gift.
—Guest Kedi

Old wives tale

Leave by the same door that you entered, or it would be bad luck.
—Guest Kedi

Herrings and Silver

On New Year's Eve, as midnight strikes, you are to hold a silver coin and eat herring. This will bring prosperity to the family.
—Guest Joanne Maffenbeier

Black Crow

I've heard an old wives' tale that if a black crow would fly in an open window it means someone in the family would die. Well, a month before my 92-year-old father died in 2005, a black crow DID fly in through an open door. The crow cawed a bit in my direction then flew out the same door he came in. I thought of the omen at the time and my father did die a month later in June 2005. Go figure.
—Guest Jeanette

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What Is Your Favorite Old Wives' Tale?

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