Tag: common superstitions

Cross Your Fingers – Luck, Lies, & Ladders

The final article in the series exploring common superstitions is ‘fingers crossed.’ Crossing your fingers is a common gesture in English speaking countries for luck or to cover up little white lies,…

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The Four-Leaf Clover: Druids, Eden, and… Handbags?

Generally, clover represents protection, fertility and abundance, but where does the widespread belief in a four leaf clover’s good luck come from?

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Wishing on a Star: Angels, Normans, and Pinocchio

The exploration into the origins of common superstitions continues with ‘wishing on a star’.

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Spilled Salt: Bad Luck or Protection Against Dark Side?

The exploration into the origins of common superstitions continues with spilling salt as a bad omen.

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Gallows, Germs, or God: Why is it Bad Luck to Put Shoes on the Table?

According to some, leaving shoes on the table is a harbinger of death. This originates from the practice of honouring fatalities in the mining industry.

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Sky Goddesses, Spring Mechanisms, or Sprites: Why Is it Bad Luck to Open an Umbrella Inside?

Madeline D'Este explores the possible origins behind the common belief that the act of opening an umbrella indoors invites bad luck.

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Origins of Breaking the Wishbone: Horseshoes, Groins and Chicken Ouija Boards

‘Breaking the wishbone’ is a tradition around the world in the days after a Sunday roast, Thanksgiving or Christmas.

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Seven Years Bad Luck? – Reflections, Romans, and Reckless Servants

Bad luck from breaking a mirror has a long history, and the ominous associations are pervasive around the world.

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The Origins of ‘Touch Wood’: Tree Spirits, The True Cross, or Tag?

The superstition of 'touch wood', or 'knock on wood' is still common today, but what was its original source? Madeleine D'Este explores some possibilities.

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Bad Luck comes in Threes: Matches, Murderers or Mathematics

One installment in a series of common superstitions in the English speaking world: ‘Bad luck comes in threes.’

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