Author Topic: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now  (Read 2978 times)

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« on: August 11, 2008, 04:49:23 pm »
One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a letter
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told


On my way to work this morning, I saw a single magpie, then a pair, then a group of seven, then a pair, then a single, all within half a mile of each other. So far I've had no sorrow, no joy and no secrets.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2008, 04:59:26 pm »
One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a letter
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told


On my way to work this morning, I saw a single magpie, then a pair, then a group of seven, then a pair, then a single, all within half a mile of each other. So far I've had no sorrow, no joy and no secrets.


You have yet to cycle home....   :-\
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

Elleigh

Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2008, 05:02:31 pm »
One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a letter
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told


On my way to work this morning, I saw a single magpie, then a pair, then a group of seven, then a pair, then a single, all within half a mile of each other. So far I've had no sorrow, no joy and no secrets.

I thought it was 'three for a girl' and three sneezes in succession meant you were going to receive a letter.

JT

  • Howay the lads!
    • CTC Peterborough
Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2008, 05:05:03 pm »
Do you salute single magpies?

I'd never heard of that until I met Mrs JT.
a great mind thinks alike

blackpuddinonnabike

Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2008, 05:25:46 pm »
Do you salute single magpies?

I'd never heard of that until I met Mrs JT.


Mornin' captain!

We've got a pair regularly visit the trees at the back of the garden - it was nice to see them with their couple of 'chicks' with tails they had yet to grow into.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2008, 06:55:46 pm »
Handily, I know two different versions of the rhyme.

One starts:

One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy

The other:

One for joy
Two for sorrow
Three for today
Four for tomorrow.
Getting there...

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2008, 07:04:34 pm »
There were seven on the way home, and six rabbits.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2008, 10:19:22 pm »
Quote
...and six rabbits.

It's a sign  :demon:

Mike J

  • Guinea Pig Man
Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2008, 10:38:20 pm »
Does anyone remember the TV programme?

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2008, 10:41:25 pm »
My mum has middle-class pretensions, so we were a Blue Peter and Swap Shop household, rather than Magpie or TISWAS.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Pete

Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2008, 08:53:37 am »
Maybe this thread can settle a question that's been nagging at me these past - well, three or four decades....

There's a phrase in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Kidnapped:
Quote
more of a warning than two pyats

Now, all these years, I've guessed that "pyat" is an old Scots word for "magpie" which would make sense of the passage.  But I've never been able to confirm this.

Incidentally, if I've guessed right, this phrase contradicts Kirst's version "two for joy" and looks more like Clarion's "two for sorrow".  Especially seeing as the character who utters these words, gets murdered a few paragraphs later!


Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2008, 05:41:11 pm »
Now, all these years, I've guessed that "pyat" is an old Scots word for "magpie" which would make sense of the passage.  But I've never been able to confirm this.
That is correct.

Though I've never heard of a pair being bad luck.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2008, 07:35:01 pm »
Does anyone remember the TV programme?

Yes, though we didn't have a TV.
Partner informs me his Dad scorned ITV so he seldom watched it.

There are often numerous magpies on our lawn so we frequently chant the rhyme.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2008, 07:36:28 pm »
My mum has middle-class pretensions, so we were a Blue Peter and Swap Shop household, rather than Magpie or TISWAS.

You too!

Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2008, 07:38:34 pm »
Another version is

One for sorrow
Two for mirth
Three for a wedding
Four for a birth

The critters are so common these days (they love roadkill) that the rhyme needs to be expanded to at least twenty.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2008, 05:52:33 pm »
Now, all these years, I've guessed that "pyat" is an old Scots word for "magpie" which would make sense of the passage.  But I've never been able to confirm this.
That is correct.

Though I've never heard of a pair being bad luck.

The Dictionary of the Scots Language has it under pyot. I've never heard it used, though.

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2008, 04:11:50 pm »
A group of 9 and then a single one the other night.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


border-rider

Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2008, 10:37:00 pm »
Does anyone remember the TV programme?

Two words.

Jenny

&

Hanley

Her brother may have been a Tory MP, but even so...


RJ

  • Droll rat
Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2008, 10:53:13 pm »
Now, all these years, I've guessed that "pyat" is an old Scots word for "magpie" which would make sense of the passage.  But I've never been able to confirm this.
That is correct.

Though I've never heard of a pair being bad luck.

The Dictionary of the Scots Language has it under pyot. I've never heard it used, though.

What's "vermin" in Doric?  ;)

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2008, 10:55:06 pm »
MV - two other words:

Tommy.

and

Boyd.

That's cooled all the guys down again
Getting there...

border-rider

Re: If you're superstitious about magpies, look away now
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2008, 10:55:57 pm »
 ;D