Monday, May 19, 2008

Some Californian Children's Beliefs, Early 20th Century

Helen Papashvily, "The World in a California Street: Stockton, 1911-1920." Western Folklore, vol. 10, No. 2 (April 1951), p. 117.

ALL THE children in our street knew the following:

[...]

Penny licorice strips have old black rubber boots melted into them.

Jelly beans are made of all the drippings and pieces scraped up at night from the floors of candy factories.

[...]

The deadliest insult that can be offered to a Chinese is to say "Chick (or chuck) a muck a hilo" to him. If a Chinese hears you he will kill you immediately. (No meaning or translation ever formulated for the phrase.)

Chinese carry their money (coins) in their ears. Hence an extra prohibition against ever putting coins in one's mouth.