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Source: 101 American Superstitions by Harry Collis (Amazon)
This humorous and informative compendium gives the origin and an example of each of 101 familiar superstitions.◼MY OTHER ANKI DECKS
For more information, please see the Essential Idioms in English page.
Sample (from 101 notes)
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Section Five: Be Careful!
Killing a spider
Tradition says that it is unlucky to kill a spider. This custom comes from the time when the population of flies, which carried sickness, was kept down only by spiders.
A: I’m not going to visit my grandmother again until she moves to a new house.B: Why not?A: Because I hate spiders, and they are everywhere in her house. She won’t let me kill them because she says it brings bad luck. So no more visits from me.
Section Two: Love and Marriage
Protectors of the wedding couple
The bridesmaids and ushers once dressed like the bride and groom to trick evil spirits so that they would not know who was getting married. Later, the job of the ushers was to stand watch during the honeymoon. Nowadays, bridesmaids and ushers are simply friends who help the bride and groom during the wedding celebration.
A: Virginia, have you picked out your bridesmaids yet?B: Yes, I have. I’ve asked five of my best friends, and Bill is asking five cousins to be ushers.A: Wow! That’s a large wedding party.B: Maybe, but for such a special day we want all the help we can get.
Section Seven: Win or Lose
Looking over a player’s shoulder
If you look over someone’s shoulder while they are playing cards, you will bring that player had luck.
A: Go away and stop looking over my shoulder!B: I was just trying to see how well you were playing.A: Well, you’re bringing me bad luck. I’ve lost the last three hands. B: All right, I’ll go. But the way you’re playing, I’d be surprised if your luck ever changed at all.
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