pigeons


pigeons
   Often connected with illness and death in English folklore. Beliefs regarded a pigeon alighting on a bed, or even on a house, as a sign of at least sickness, and sometimes death, and there is a tradition that a sick person asking for a pigeon must be near death as 'that is almost the last thing they want'. Numerous references from the 17th century onwards concern the use of pigeons in medical, often near-death, contexts. It was commonly believed that a live pigeon, cut in half, and applied to a sick person's body, would draw out a fever or sickness. Samuel Pepys' Diary, for example, twice mentions this procedure: 'they did lay pigeons to his feet while I was in the house; and all despair of him ...' (21 Jan. 1668). Similarly, application of a pigeon would draw out adder poison. A saying that 'He who is sprinkled with pigeon's blood will never die a natural death' has a legend to support it. When Charles I was receiving a new bust of himself, sculpted by Bernini, a pigeon flying overhead was attacked by a hawk, and the pigeon's blood fell on the bust, staining it red round the neck - a stain that could never be removed. In other versions (such as Aubrey, 1696) it is a different or unnamed bird (N&Q 7s:8 (1889), 468; 7s:9 (1890), 13-14, 77). See also *adders, *feathers.
   ■ Black, 1883: 163-4; Opie and Tatem, 1989: 308-9; N&Q 151 (1926), 136.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pigeons — (franz., spr. pischóng »Tauben«), Taubenäpfel, s. Apfelbaum, S. 612 (5) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Pigeons — (frz., spr. schóng), Taubenäpfel (s. Apfel) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Pigeons — Columba (genre) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Columba …   Wikipédia en Français

  • pigeons — karveliniai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Columbidae angl. pigeons and doves vok. Tauben rus. голубиные pranc. columbidés; pigeons ryšiai: platesnis terminas – karveliniai paukščiai siauresnis terminas – fazaniniai… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • pigeons — karveliniai paukščiai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Columbiformes angl. doves; pigeons vok. Taubenvögel rus. голубеобразные pranc. pigeons ryšiai: platesnis terminas – šiuolaikiniai paukščiai siauresnis terminas –… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • pigeons — As used in military radio communications, it means the course and the distance to the base or destination, as in “your pigeons to base are 265 degrees (at) 100 miles.” …   Aviation dictionary

  • pigeons — pi·geon || pɪdʒɪn n. type of bird; stupid person, fool …   English contemporary dictionary

  • PIGEONS — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pigeons de la guerre 1914-1918 — Pigeons de la Première Guerre mondiale Sous article d un taxon biologique Article principal : Nom : pigeon biset Nom latin : Columba livia …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pigeons de la guerre de 70 — Pigeons de la guerre de 1870 Durant la guerre de 1870, des pigeons voyageurs ont été utilisés par les Français pour communiquer à l insu de l occupant allemand. Pendant la guerre franco allemande de 1870, alors que les Français sont en déroute… …   Wikipédia en Français