Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Myths, folklore, and symbolism
keys: According to a character in Thomas Hardy's novel Far From the Madding Crowd, breaking a key was a bad sign: "I went to unlock the door and dropped the key, and it fell upon the stone floor and broke into two pieces. Breaking a key is a dreadful bodement." Keys were also used for divination, in conjunction wiht a Bible, and are still commonly recommended to stop a nosebleed (put the key down the sufferer's back). A report from Norfolk, in the 1890s, described how seamen's wives and girlfriends would gather on the quay, watching for the arrival or departure of a ship, each carrying in her hand a key - presumably their house doorkey - turning it in the direction of a departing or expected ship. (Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore)

No comments:

Post a Comment