Tag Archives: UK

T13: Very Superstitious

It isn’t a very well-known fact – at least not here – that the Scots, and Brits in general are a very superstitious lot.  Religion (or not) aside, superstitions supersede any belief system you might have.  It all stems from the history of the nation and historical events that transpired, the folklore associated with fishing (really, I’m not kidding), and perhaps even a little old Paganism thrown in for good measure.

Below is a list of fourteen (because we’re talking bad luck here and I’m not chancing it) things that are believed to be bad luck:
1.   Never ever fully open an umbrella inside a home.  Ever.  Yes, even to dry it.

2.  Spotting a single magpie is never a good thing and will bring you bad luck.  Scan your surrounding area for another.

3.  It is extremely bad luck to buy yourself a wallet.  It is believed you’ll never have money to fill it.

4.  And don’t think about buying yourself a calendar either.  It will bring a year of bad luck.

5.  If you spill salt, make sure you toss some with your right hand over your left shoulder.  It’s said to cause arguments.

6.  Breaking a mirror will cause imminent bad luck for the ensuing seven years.  This is where I don’t tell you in the space of a few days, I broke two mirrors.  I was seven at the time.

7.  New shoes are meant to be kept to the floor level.  Although I am far less to believe in the majority of superstitions, this one still gives me the heebies.  It is considered bad luck to place new shoes on a bed, this “comes from the tradition of dressing a corpse in new clothes and shoes and laying them out so everyone can give their respects” – wikipedia.

8.  Don’t walk underneath an open ladder.  Counteract it immediately by walking back under, backwards.

9.  Once a wedding ring has been placed on the finger, it’s bad luck to remove it.  However, if you do remove it, it’s best to turn it three times after you replace it.

10.  The number 13 is considered bad luck.  This comes from The Last Supper.  There were thirteen around the table.  And, it was a Friday, which is why Friday the 13th is traditionally a very bad luck kinda day.

11.  If you speak of bad luck, be sure to knock on wood.

12.  If you see a penny and it’s face down, don’t pick it up.

13.  Peacocks in general are bad luck, even as ornaments or in pictures.

14.  If on display, keep a horseshoe in the ‘U’ position to hold in the good luck.

If I could add one modern-day superstition, I would say:

1.  If you wash your car on a beautifully clear sunny day, within twenty-four hours it will rain.

Counter is all with having a black cat cross your path which will bring good luck.

Things I Miss From the UK

  • ten pence mixtures
  • corner shops
  • chips and gravy
  • being able to walk somewhere
  • sausage rolls
  • the coast
  • not having to spell my name (at least in the last 5 years BEFORE I left)
  • bagpuss
  • sausage supper
  • slice aka square sausage
  • any kind of sausage really
  • safeway
  • newsagents
  • potato scones
  • potato waffles
  • hp brown sauce
  • heinz soups
  • cornish pasties
  • the wombles
  • wellies
  • tizer
  • tesco cheese aisle
  • french fancies
  • red amber green amber red
  • crusty rolls
  • bacon sarnie
  • top 40 singles
  • rain, sometimes
  • no chance of watching someone run a red light
  • knowing what the name of a cut of beef is
  • teletext
  • british tv
  • jam doughnuts
  • real hot cross buns
  • singing a nursery rhyme without changing the words
  • lilt
  • “at the third stroke, the time sponsored by Accurist will be…”
  • devonshire custard
  • hearing people say Worcestershire properly