A stitch in time saves nine
Naheed, it was very interesting to read about your superstitions. The one about pregnant women having to be careful around sharp objects was a new one on me. I’ve been trying to think of any superstitions we have to do with pregnant women but I’ve drawn a blank.
However, people do sometimes say that you shouldn’t let a cat near a sleeping baby or it will steal the baby’s breath. That sounds quite evil, doesn’t it? A lot of people seem to have it in for cats. As you guessed correctly, Naheed, a black cat crossing your path is also considered bad luck in the UK. In fact, you got all the answers right. Here they are again:
1) A horseshoe – A horseshoe is lucky as long as it is up ‘the right way’, i.e. with the two ends pointing upwards. If it falls downwards, all your luck will run away
2) Opening an umbrella whilst indoors -- unlucky
3) A new pair of shoes on the table -- unlucky
4) A black cat crossing your path -- unlucky
5) Breaking a mirror – This is so unlucky that you are said to have seven years’ bad luck if you break a mirror
Naheed, just a small point I noticed in a couple of your last blogs. In your blog about superstition, you wrote:
When I was quite younger, my grandmothers both from my mother and father’s side used to advise us that if someone is leaving home never to ask where s/he is going.
And in your blog when you were talking about the landmark Moen Do Jaro, you wrote:
He was quite younger then and often used to cycle there as it was at a mile’s distance from his home.
I just wanted to mention that ‘young’ is the adjective and ‘younger’ is the comparative adjective. Of course you know this already! When you use a simple or comparative adjective with the word ‘quite’, you can do it like this:
I was quite young then.
I am quite lucky.
I was quite a bit younger then.
I am quite a lot luckier.
However, you can’t say:
I was quite younger then.
I am quite luckier.
I hope that's clear. Otherwise, your writing is looking brilliant. Well done!
Naheed, I’ve been mulling over your superstition about milk. I don’t think we have any superstitions about milk like you, but we do have a special saying about milk, which goes:
There’s no point crying over spilled milk.
This basically means that it’s not worth getting upset about small things. Even though I don’t spill milk very often, I think it’s a wise little saying. And this brings me on to another language point: proverbs. Proverbs are little sayings or phrases. They’re a bit like idioms. The difference is that proverbs always contain some message of wisdom. For example:
Too many cooks spoil the broth.
This means that if you have too many people working on the same job, it can make life more difficult.
However, this is somewhat contradicted by the following proverb:
Many hands make light work.
Which means that if you have lots of people working on the same job, it’ll be easier.
Which one is wiser? I dunno! I suppose you can pick the most suitable proverb depending on the situation. Naheed, we’re approaching the end of your time as student blogger (sniff! sob!) so I think it would be nice to give you some words of wisdom. Of course when I say ‘give’, I mean I wonder whether you can tell me what these proverbs mean:
1 The grass is always greener on the other side
2 People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones
3 A rolling stone gathers no moss
4 Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth
5 Empty vessels make most noise
Yours, still searching for wisdom,
Answers to your comments
:-( I’m hoping there’s something wrong with the BBC’s system – I miss reading your comments!
A stitch in time saves nine – this proverb means that if you catch a problem when it’s small, you’ll save yourself a lot of work.
a new one on me – you use this phrase to say you haven’t heard about something before.
If you draw a blank you don’t find what you’re looking for.
People who have it in for cats are hostile towards cats.
to mull over – to think about
I dunno! – slang for 'I don’t know'.
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