sailor, touching


sailor, touching
   A generally reported belief is that it is lucky to touch a sailor, or at least a sailor's collar. In most cases it appears to be females, or children, who are actually willing to carry out the action, which may say more about the gender-based societal norms of interpersonal contact than about who holds the belief itself. The earliest known references, however, date only to 1916, and it is possible that it originated during the First World War. See also other beliefs involving touching under *hunchback, *touching iron/ wood, *statues.
   ■ N&Q 12s: 1 (1916) 430, 491; Opie and Tatem, 1989: 335.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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