Mythology Encyclopedia 155

and repeating the following doggerel verse:
"A friend, a foe,
Money to come, a journey to go."
The number of white spots on a person’s nails determine the number of years he has
to live. (Alsace-LAMBS, p. 39).
If the nails of a person suffering from fever be cut, and the parings stuck on with wax
on a neighbour’s door before sunrise, the fever will be transferred to the neighbour.
(PLINY, Nat. Hist., XXVIII, 86).
The Russian peasants place the parings of a dead person’s nails along with the body
in the grave, in the belief that the same has to climb a steep hill before reaching
Paradise. (RALSTON, Songs of the Russian People, 109; cf. FRAZER, Golden Bough,
Vol. I, p. 368sq.).
In America white spots on the nail are considered lucky.
In East Anglia spots on the thumb nail are more certain of fulfilment than the others.
According to the local doggerel:
"Spots on the fingers are sure to linger,
Spots on the thumb are sure to come."
A girl who bites her finger-nails will bring forth children with great difficulty. (Japan-
GRIFFIS, M.E., p. 469).
Finger and toe nails should be carefully destroyed, otherwise other people finding them
may perform magical operations. (Gt. Britain, France, Germany, India, etc.).
If while cutting nails, a piece springs into the fire, the owner will meet with a speedy
death; the consequences may however be averted by throwing some salt in the fire.
Nails should be trimmed just before starting on a journey, and never at night. (Japan-
GRIFFIS, M.E., p. 467).
If babies’ nails be cut before they are a year old, they will not grow.
If you cut your nails on a Monday, you will have luck all the week; but if on a Friday,
unluck (Gt. Britain), or it will bring luck and help to keep away toothaches. (Germany-WUTTKE,
pp. 12, 17).
If you throw away nail-clippings in the fire either you yourself or your house will catch
fire. (Japan-CHAMBERLAIN, T.J, Ger. tr. p. 18). Vide European.
Nail Iron: An iron coffin nail, if accidentally found, is used for various magical purposes,
such as for curing diseases, punishing thieves, catching game, etc.
Name: If two children belonging to the same family bear the same name, one of them
is sure to die. (Pomerania–WUTTKE, p. 197).
The real names of persons are often concealed, for fear that others ascertaining it, may
perform various magical operations. (FRAZER, G. B., Vol. I, p. 406 sq; CROOKE,
P.R.I., Vol. II, p. 5).
The Finns and Esthonian peasants are very loth to mention wild beasts by their proper
names, for they believe that either they will have poor sport, or that the creatures will
do them much harm. (CASTREN, Vorlesungen, p. 201; BOECLER-KREUTZWALD, p.
The Kamtchatkans abstain from mentioning the names of bears, whales and wolves,

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