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17882.  Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:17 pm Reply with quote

Any mileage in this do you think?

I came across one today, referred to by a poster on the Pepys Diary weblog:

A father could and did beat his daughter until she was married and then this “duty” [sic] was handed over to the new husband. Sometimes, this was done literally with the father handing an old slipper to do the beating to the son-in-law to signify this change. This is the origin of the practice of tying old shoes to the back of going-away cars.

Snopes also offers this as a possible explanation:

17888.  Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:08 am Reply with quote

I'd've thought you could do several shows just on customs :)

For instance, I never knew there were so many dos and don'ts when using chopsticks in Japan:

A friend of mine who's learning Japanese also told me that there are two numbers that the Japanese consider very unlucky. Number 4 in Japanese is pronounced "shi" which is, apparently, the same as the word for "death". Similarly number 9 is pronounced "ku" which is the same word used to describe torture.

You can understand the reasons for considering them unlucky, but I wonder why they used the same words in the first place.

one, two, three, death!, five, six, seven, eight, torture!, ten

17904.  Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:11 pm Reply with quote

I heard slightly different, a friend that was learning Japanese said that nine meant 'agony', which is almost the same I suppose.

Also, the number "4219" is pretty much as unlucky as you can get in Japan. It can be read as "Go to die".


Not a popular personalised number plate me thinks...

I await to be told otherwise.

17905.  Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:14 pm Reply with quote

Pretty short number plate (sorry)!

I always wanted (when I was younger), B0NJ0UR.

17952.  Wed Apr 20, 2005 6:01 am Reply with quote

Back to the subject of customs, there seem to be lots of old European customs associated with the Saint's days leading up to Christmas. Apparently one old custom is that, if a maiden looks up a chimney whilst naked on St. Andrew's Eve (November 29th), she will see her future husband.

Quite what he's doing up the chimney is not adequately explained. Presumably he's hanging around up there on the off-chance of seeing a naked maiden :)

However, in Austria it seems all a maiden had to do was to stand barefoot beneath a plum tree at night and listen for a dog barking. The direction the bark came from told her which direction her future husband would come from.

17953.  Wed Apr 20, 2005 6:08 am Reply with quote

if a maiden looks up a chimney whilst naked on St. Andrew's Eve

There's something unnervingly freudian about this.

Cleverina Clogs
18031.  Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:19 am Reply with quote

Hmmmm.... I bet this will be a new reality show on Channel 5 soon!


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