Spitting on a broom

Discussion in 'Urban Legends' started by Arachne, May 23, 2011.

  1. Arachne

    Arachne Member

    So the other day I was at a restaurant. One employee was sweeping the floor and she brushed another girl's foot with her broom. The other girl insisted on spitting on the broom, saying it would be bad luck if she didn't!

    Does anybody know where this superstition comes from, or what inspired it?
  2. Myrddin

    Myrddin Well-Known Member

    Spitting on a broom?!? Never heard of it.
  3. VidaDuerme

    VidaDuerme Member

    I'm not entirely sure where the superstition comes from, but I've heard of it locally (the American south). Here, if you're hit with a broom, you should spit on it and take ten steps backwards to prevent bad luck. There's a Grateful Dead song that mentions it called "I ain't superstitious" and he mentions being thrown in jail as a consequence of being hit with a broom. Technically a Willie Dixon song, but I know the Grateful Dead version.
  4. Isis

    Isis Member

    That's an interesting myth. I bet the waitress was rather taken aback when the customer wanted to spit on the broom! Personally I cringe a little for hygienic reasons.
  5. Frumpy

    Frumpy Member

    I know that in Latin America if a girl gets her feet swept with a broom, the myth says she will not marry. I wonder if the spitting on the broom will reverse said myth.
  6. Arachne

    Arachne Member

    Thank you all for your responses.

    Frumpy, do you think this belief was imported to Latin America by the Spaniards? If so it could be a European (and by proxy American) superstition in general, just one that isn't as commonly seen nowadays.
  7. Allie-Gator

    Allie-Gator Member

    I've never heard of it but it sound interesting. I've always heard if someone sweeps beneath your feet you won't get married. I guess it is something that's just said in the Southern states. It sounds like they were derived from the same superstition.
  8. Myrddin

    Myrddin Well-Known Member

    What?!? And I've let my mother sweep beneath my feet dozens of times.
  9. Rhonda Tharp

    Rhonda Tharp Active Member

    I read that particular African tribes used the broom in wedding ceremonies - the bride must jump over the broom to bring "good luck" with fertility.
    In Europe, I read that the broom was also seen as a fertility symbol, but also a phallic symbol, hence women "riding brooms" were witches...

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