Ladybugs, a look at the calendar confirms that it’s time for 10 on the 10th 10.2020. And our theme for today? 10 superstitions, wives’ tales and family expressions. Thought this would be a fun pre-Halloween post. Have always found superstitions to be interesting. I like looking into the origins of superstitions, the history behind them. Grateful to Leanne for sharing this link on Aussie expressions.
And then there’s my mom. Who has always had a colorful way of speaking. We credit her Missouri upbringing. When I used those same family expressions, my English professor asked me about them. I explained I’d grown up hearing them from my mother all my life. He asked to contact my mom to get them from the “horse’s mouth.” And wound up interviewing Mom to get the background on her Missouri expressions for research he was doing on idioms. Thought it would be fun to share some with you.
10 on the 10th 10.2020
Can’t believe we are finally winding down this dreadful year! Two more months to 2020 and 2 more months of 10 on the 10th. Life gets really crazy with the holidays so want to remind you now of the prompts for November and December.
Will share the Thanksgiving questions toward the end of the month so you can be thinking on them.
If you have missed some of the earlier 10 on the 10th posts, you can check them all out here:
Now, on with the show. Let’s start with…
Superstitions and Old Wives’ Tales
Coming and Going
You might be familiar with the Irish superstition that dictates a person should be required to go out the same door she comes in. Otherwise they will take the ‘good luck’ (in the house or building) with them [source]. I was raised to do that but actually didn’t know why until now. My mom took it a little further, though.
- Not only must you enter and exit through the same door, but if you exit then realize you’ve forgotten something and have to go back in, you must sit down in a chair, slowly count to 10 before re-exiting. It’s bad luck to have to come back inside for something.
Finding a Penny
Ever heard the rhyme “find a penny pick it up; all day long you’ll have good luck”? According to this article, the origin of this superstition dates back to ancient times when “metals were believed to offer protection from evil and harmful spirits to those who possessed them.” Later coins were used as currency, those who had more of them were obviously more prosperous. The more money one had, the more fortunate they were believed to be. But there’s more to this superstition.
- Some believe that only a face-up coin is good luck and should be picked up. But I have never found a coin I didn’t like! I mean, how can finding money be bad? I believe that finding a coin face-up indicates that you’ll have good luck, while finding a coin face-down means that angels are with you. Win-win. Be sure to put any coin you find in your left shoe, though. Or in the case of sandals or open-toe shoes, in your left pocket.
Since Mom’s stroke and cognitive decline the first of this year, she has really struggled with work finding. Sadly, the speech therapy she’s been receiving hasn’t helped much. Her once colorful Ozark Mountains speech is now punctuated with a lot of umms, and “I can’t think of the word right now.” It was very frustrating for her at first but has become her new normal. We miss hearing the family expressions we grew up with.
- I’m so mad I could bite a ten-penny nail in two.
- I feel like I’m coming down with a bad case of the epizootic. (Apparently this is real thing…ha!! But is a disease among livestock)
- Those poor souls are poor as church mice.
- She was up all night so her eyes look like 2 burned holes in a blanket.
- With her hair wet like that, she looks like a drowned rat. Or…She has a big rat’s nest in the back of her hair.
- It smells like Dutch love in here. (We never wanted to know more…)
- The flat tire made me late for work and they fired me, so now I’m fit to be tied.
- Whenever I’m with my grandbabies, I am in pig heaven.
- When I say she got mad, I mean she had a duck fit.
- With all the restrictions because of Covid, I’m as busy as a cranberry merchant these days.
- You better get your trotting harness on or we are going to be late for school.
And my all time favorite…
- She can’t help it if she’s ugly but she could stay at home. Or…He can’t help it if he’s ugly but he could wear a sack over his head. (Or you can sub in pillow case)
Lauren’s husband Francisco has always gotten a kick out of the things my mom says. He noticed early on that she would make a somewhat derogatory comment about someone or something then follow it by ‘bless her heart’. As if that would soften the things.
Lost in the Translation
When we lived in Panama, I often had a house full of little ones visiting from my (ex)husband’s family in the interior. Apparently one the expressions I said on repeat was fat as mud, speaking of myself. (As an aside, looking back at pictures from that time of my life…I was not fat…as mud or anything else. What do they say about hindsight?) After hearing me say fat as mud over and over, the kids asked me to translate fat as mud into Spanish. Just so you know, it doesn’t translate well.
Are there expressions you grew up hearing that you still say today? Maybe an old wives’ tale you have taken to heart? Do you pick up pennies and put them in your shoe? Would love to hear! Leave me a comment below. Or link up your 10 on the 10th 10.2020 (that’s a lot of 10s) with me.
This morning, as I got ready to put on my tennies, a penny fell out of my left shoe. Made me smile. May your weekend be full of smiles and happiness. Thank you for spending a few moments here with me.
Hugs and kisses,