Over breakfast this morning my 5 year old son was telling me that if you find a horse shoe it’s lucky. I was explaining to him that it is an old Irish wives tale. Then I started to think of the other ones I knew.
If you see a black cat it’s unlucky but if it crosses your path it’s good look.
If you give a friend a brooch it pierces the friendship.
It’s bad luck to put new shoes on a table.
It’s bad luck to open an umbrella in a house.
If you spill salt you should throw it over your left shoulder to stave off bad luck.
Whistling women and crowing hens will bring you bad luck. (Another version of this, thanks to John, is: a whistling woman and a cackling hen, draw the devil from his den)
[update: April 2011]
Do a load of washing on New Year’s Day, you’ll wash a member of your family away.
It’s bad luck to buy your own wallet or purse.
If you gift a wallet to someone but a bit of money in it for good luck.
[update: May 2011]
Knife to the floor, stranger to the door.
So now my son and I are on a mission to find as many wives tales as we can. Surely there must be many more, do you know of others?