By Jacqueline Simpson
With 1250 entries starting from dragons to mom Goose, may well Day to Michaelmas, this enthralling dictionary unfurls the colourful historical past at the back of the vacations, customs, legends, and superstitious ideals of britain. Ever ask yourself why we kiss lower than the mistletoe at Christmas or imagine a rabbit's foot brings stable success? folklore professionals supply trustworthy and sometimes outstanding solutions to those and different curiosities that experience formed way of life in England for hundreds of years. They discover the fairs and earlier celebrations of the English calendar, from St. Andrews Day and its culture of drunkenness and cross-dressing to 12th evening and its king and queen cake. additionally they offer concise graphics of genuine and mythical characters that populate the general public reminiscence, together with Robin Hood, The Brothers Grimm, woman Godiva, Puck, and The Sandman. Fairies, mermaids, hobgoblins, and changelings are yet the various supernatural forces surveyed right here. even if, as folklore encompasses the mundane in addition to the glorious, a number of different entries remove darkness from the importance of colours, numbers, plant life, animals, and family items. study the curious heritage at the back of our mistrust of the "black sheep," renowned credence in "wishbone" needs, folks remedies for nosebleeds and warts, and chronic previous other halves' stories. as well as historical and medieval folklore, you'll find many modern city legends, e.g., the vanishing hitchhiker--a spooky determine obvious ominously through tourists in Britain and the United States--and the the teeth Fairy. An interesting source, The Dictionary of English Folklore can be a desirable significant other for readers of English literature, background, cultural reports, and myth.
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Additional info for A Dictionary of English Folklore
Blind Man’s Buff. One of the oldest and most consistently popular of traditional games, played in the past by adults (especially at *Christmas family gatherings) as well as children. In basic form, one player is blindfolded, turned around a few times to disorient him/ her, and either has to catch other players or to catch and identify them. Earlier names for the 26 game were Hoodman Blind, and the Hoodwinke Play, as a reversed hood is an effective blindfold, and it is clear from earlier descriptions and illustrations that the game could be much rougher than it tends to be nowadays, with the blindfolded player being buffeted by the knotted hoods of the others.
The custom has changed over the years, and was several times in danger of extinction, but local effort revived interest each time. Its date has moved from the Wednesday after Whitsun to Whit Monday (in 1933) and later to the Spring Bank Holiday. The heavy drinking previously associated with the custom has been toned down, and the event made more family oriented. Smith, 1989: 78–81; Sykes, 1977: 91–4. bells. ), rang before Mass and at certain points during Mass, rang the ‘passing bell’ when anyone in the parish was at death’s door, and tolled for *funerals and the anniversaries of deaths.
Those which can take place in private, such as cock-ﬁghting, dog-ﬁghting, and badger-baiting, still persist. See also *bull-running, *cock-fighting, throwing at *cocks. Malcolmson, 1973; Hutton, 1994; Boulton, 1901: i. 1–34; Edward G. ); John Armitage, Man at Play (1977). blue. In current folklore, blue is either a gender marker for the clothing of baby boys, or a colour associated with loyalty and true love, and hence lucky for brides, who must wear: Something old, something new, Something borrowed, something blue.
A Dictionary of English Folklore by Jacqueline Simpson