Don’t Spill the Salt

by Barbara Nevins Taylor

While I was at an outdoor cafe eating breakfast, I overheard a dad talking to his daughter who was maybe four years old.  He said, “Don’t ever spill the salt.” She asked,  “Why?” He replied, “It’s very unlucky.”

Suddenly, I remembered swirling on a swivel seat in a diner, playing with the salt shaker, when I was about the same age. And I heard my mom’s voice say, “Sit still, and don’t play with the salt. It’ll spill and that’s unlucky.” It’s funny how these superstitions taught in childhood stay with us. I’m still careful not to spill the salt.

But the dad left something out.  If you spill the salt, you’re supposed to pick up a pinch and toss it over your left shoulder.  Then everything will be okay.

Tell us about the superstitions your parents passed on to you.

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.

One thought on “Don’t Spill the Salt”

  1. Superstitious it is! I grew up in a house full of superstitions. When I was a kid one of my duties was to sweep the floor. and there is one superstitious that I remember. I couldn’t sweep the floor after sunlight because I’d be sweeping the luck out of the house.

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