white rabbits

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white rabbits

Post by ade morcom » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:19 am

does anyone know where the saying came from ? apparently it is said on the first day of every month with an R in it, to bring luck.
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white rabbits

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:55 am

I don't thank that having an "R" in the month is part of the superstition, but Phrase Finder, here

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_boar ... es/73.html says:

HARE OR RABBIT: SAYING AT CHANGE OF MONTH -- "1920 'Folklore' 319. According to several correspondents in the 'Westminster Gazette' (spring of 1919) the following belief is common in many parts of Great Britain, with local variants: To secure good luck of some kind, usually a present, one should say 'Rabbits' three times just before going to sleep on the last day of the month, and then 'Hares' three times on waking the next morning.1982 Woman c.50 (Stockton-on-Tees, Co. Durham) The first words you say for a lucky month are 'White Rabbits'. If you can remember to say that twelve times a year, you'll have a very lucky year. 1984 Woman 47 (Chichester, Sussex) If you say 'Black cats' on the last night of the month and 'White rabbits' next morning, you will get a present before the month is out." From "A Dictionary of Superstitions" Edited by Iona Opie and Moira Tatem (Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, 1989). Page 192.

I don't think that it is very old, a hundred years or so. Any help?
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white rabbits

Post by Shelley » Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:02 am

A friend in college ('70's) said "rabbit, rabbit" on the first of every month for luck. It had to be the first thing she said, too. Curiouser and curiouser . . .
I'm reminded of "Harvey", the large white rabbit who hung around in bars and was Elwood P. Dowd's favorite "pooka" (bringer of good luck). No, not "pika".
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white rabbits

Post by gdwdwrkr » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:01 pm

The question s is why do people allow themselves to think it is true?
And nowadays these idiots are mass-forwarding email.
And how lucky is the rabbit whose foot you carry around, hmmmm?
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white rabbits

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:45 pm

People who carry rabbits' feet for luck have always baffled me. The rabbit had four feet, and they brought him damn all in the way of luck, so how can just one be a charm?

I think we might find this thread shifted to Beyond Words, so hold tight everyone.
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white rabbits

Post by russcable » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:01 pm

Shelley wrote: ..."pooka" (bringer of good luck)...
Don't trust everything you learn from the movies...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pooka Excerpt: "The Púca is considered by many to be the most terrifying of all the creatures of faery."
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Post by tony h » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:08 pm

Maybe the luck just comes from people stopping to think before they do something. You know - a paws for thought!

Mind you horses have it easier as it is horse-shoes that are lucky. Keep one on you. Then if you are being attacked clonk them with the horseshoe. Much luckier than a rabbit's foot.
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white rabbits

Post by Shelley » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:21 pm

russcable: I have an Encarta Dictionary on my computer at work. It defines POOKA as follows: Ireland a mischievous spirit in Irish folklore, especially one who takes the form of an animal. Not sure why I remembered it as a lucky spirit -- maybe the Irish connection.
WW's resource, Dictionary.com, adds the following info: [Irish púca, from Old Irish, probably from Old English puca, goblin.] Yeah, I'd agree -- goblins are pretty bad news.
Say, I wonder if Shakespeare named the character Puck (maker of mischief in "A Midsummer Night's Dream") after the Old English "puca"?
I did a search for Robin Goodfellow (Puck's other name) and found Ken Greenwald's post for "HOB":
HOB noun [1460]: now Chiefly British dialect: Robin Goodfellow or Puck, a hobgoblin (something causing superstitious fear, a bogy, a mischievous goblin or sprite, Puck), sprite, or elf; mischief, mischievous behavior, trouble; formerly a generic name for a rustic, a clown. [Middle English ‘hob,’ ‘hobbe,’ from Hobbe, nickname of Robert or Robin].
Luck never entered into it!
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Post by kagriffy » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:54 pm

Shelley, the "Rabbit, rabbit" version you remember from the 70s is the one I'm familiar with. The only place I had ever heard about it, though, was in the "Trixie Belden" series of mystery novels, which I read when I was in my early teens (early 70s). Trixie was kind of Nancy Drew wannabe; the series was geared toward the pre-adolescent set. (And, yes, I admit I read them all! I also read every Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys book I could get my hands on.) In one of the books, Trixie explained that the tradition was for "Rabbit, rabbit" to be the last thing you said aloud on the last day of a month. Then, you made a wish. If "Rabbit, rabbit" was the first thing you said the next morning, your wish would come true that month. (As I recall, Trixie wished for a mystery to solve . . . surprisingly enough, her wish came true!)
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white rabbits

Post by gdwdwrkr » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:27 pm

"pooka" (bringer of good luck). No, not "pika".
But, still, what, O what, do they eat?
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Post by russcable » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:04 pm

As I said before, they eat trolls. Fits in well on a thread with goblins. Most common form of pica (not pika) is eating clay or earth and according to JRR trolls turn into stone in the daylight, therefore trolls are made out of clay and pikas with pica eat trolls. Full circle!
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white rabbits

Post by gdwdwrkr » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:39 pm

Luckily, the elite eat picas.
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Post by Bobinwales » Fri Jun 02, 2006 8:58 am

Pwca in Welsh, is a pretty nasty bit of work, mischievous certainly, but not above giving you a hiding, or even knocking you off if he took a dislike to you.
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white rabbits

Post by Ed P » Fri Jun 02, 2006 4:32 pm

Thanks to bob for filling in a gap i had always wondered about, I also remember " a pinch and a punch on the first of the month" and that for some reason "white rabbits" had to be said before midday, like all fools pranks stopped at 12? but that is possibly just older, and just london and suburbs, unless anyone actually knows anything further?
Ed
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