cork


cork
   The belief that cork keeps *cramp at bay has been recorded a number of times since the 1850s, and is still current. Sufferers place the substance under their pillow or between the sheets, or even wear home-made cork garters or cork between their toes (Folk-Lore 62 (1951), 268). Another letter published in N&Q (12s:3 (1917), 449) asks why it is believed that wearing cork will keep off a heart attack, but no other report has been found to corroborate this idea. A completely different notion leads to the keeping of champagne corks, popped at some significant time, 'for luck', often with a slit cut in the cork and a coin placed in it. Opie and Tatem list examples back to the 1950s, and the custom is still widely observed at weddings, major birthday parties, and so on.
   ■ Opie and Tatem, 1989: 69, 96.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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