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Superstitions, do they vary by region here?


TopCat®
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We have just spent a pleasant afternoon entertaining an old lady who my wife first met as a young child evacuee to Mevagissey, Cornwall from London during WWII. After a very nice lunch we adjourned to the conservatory, whereupon the Cornish old lady looking out over the garden, suddenly stiffened and stopped speaking. She then rose to her feet and began saying: "Good afternoon Mr Dennison." "I trust you and your family are well and will remain so, with the grace of God." She then resumed her seat!

Seeing the look on our faces, she explained that she had seen just a single magpie in our garden and that to pacify the 'evil spirits' those words had to be said. Not necessary of course, if two or more of the species are seen.

My younger brother was driving me around Yorkshire one morning years ago, when he spotted a single magpie walking at the roadside. Slowing down he vainly looked around for another magpie, before firmly stating "he would be having a rotten day from now on. When I said that was a load of bunkum I knew by his response that he was quite serious.

Anyone here know of other superstitions that have changed by region in this country. I am not a believer in any, by the way, but thanks for the input anyway. :o) TC.

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chub_tor

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My father who was born and lived all his life in Harwich, Essex always acknowledged a single magpie. If he was wearing his favourite trilby he doffed it and asked the magpie how he was today, if he was bareheaded then he would touch his forelock.

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userious?

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"the Cornish old lady" Sorry but you have to be born in Cornwall to be Cornish.

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lotvic

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userious? what makes you think she wasn't?

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morddwyd

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They certainly do vary by region.

I have been looked at very askance in the more genteel parts of England when spitting three times on seeing a white horse.

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Aitchbee

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The 70's Children's TV program 'Magpie' with Susan Stranks, Tony Bastible & Co. began with a song-:

"One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy.....

Ma-a-a-a agpie !"

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lotvic

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I have no idea where it came from, but as a child if we saw a lone magpie we held on to our collar with one hand (to ward off bad luck) until we saw another magpie.

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BT

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One for sorrow, two for joy..

Its all to do with the fact that Magpies pair for life so if you see a single one it could have lost its mate, hence 'One for sorrow. two for joy'.

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BT

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..we held on to our collar with one hand..

Probably from the old East End custom of holding your lapel with the fingers your left hand to show respect at a funeral.

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wee eddie

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After seeing a single magpie, we had to find a Grey(White horse) to remove the day's bad luck!

Essex/Hertfordshire

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Mr Mistoffelees

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I thought it was bad luck to talk about superstitions!

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