stumbling


stumbling
   The idea that it is a bad omen to stumble is one of the few superstitions which have sufficient documentary record to indicate a clear lineage in English folk belief back to medieval times and beyond, with a relatively unchanged meaning. The list of citations in England starts in 1180 with Nigel De Longchamps, Mirror for Fools, and includes Spenser, Shepheardes Calendar (1579), Scot (1584), Shakespeare, Webster, Aubrey, and many more right through to the 20th century. Stumbling on the way out means your journey or mission will go badly, stumbling on the way in (e.g. at the threshold) means that danger or ill luck lurks inside. Opie and Tatem provide all the main references, and two much earlier ones: Plutarch (c.110 ad) and Saint Augustine of Hippo (c.396 ad). Particularly ill-omened, however, is to stumble in a graveyard (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (1592), v. iii).
   See also *stairs. Opie and Tatem, 1989: 380-1.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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  • stumbling — index incompetent Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Stumbling — Stumble Stum ble, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Stumbled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Stumbling}.] [OE. stumblen, stomblen; freq. of a word akin to E. stammer. See {Stammer}.] 1. To trip in walking or in moving in any way with the legs; to strike the foot so as to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stumbling — n. tripping, staggering; faltering stum·ble || stÊŒmbl n. act of tripping, act of loosing one s balance; mistake, error v. trip, stagger (while walking); falter, blunder (while speaking); err, make a mistake; discover, come across unexpectedly …   English contemporary dictionary

  • stumbling — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Stumbling-block — Stum bling block , n. Any cause of stumbling, perplexity, or error. [1913 Webster] We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness. 1 Cor. i. 23. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Stumbling-stone — Stum bling stone , n. A stumbling block. [1913 Webster] This stumbling stone we hope to take away. T. Burnet. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stumbling block — stumbling .block n a problem or difficulty that stops you from achieving something stumbling block to ▪ The main stumbling block to starting new research is that we lack qualified people …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • stumbling block — stumbling blocks N COUNT: oft N to/in n A stumbling block is a problem which stops you from achieving something. Perhaps the major stumbling block to reunification is the military presence in South Korea …   English dictionary

  • stumbling block — index bar (obstruction), barrier, blockade (barrier), complication, deadlock, deterrence, di …   Law dictionary

  • stumbling block — [n] impediment barricade, barrier, blockage, catch*, Catch 22*, clog, delay, difficulty, drag*, drawback, handicap, hindrance, holdup, hurdle, obstacle, obstruction, road block*, setback, snag; concept 666 …   New thesaurus