Light Fingered & the cutting of nails

One curious practice exists both in the North and the extreme West of England, that of leaving an infant’s right hand unwashed: and the reason alleged is the same – that he may gather riches. The baby’s nails must not be cut till he is a year old, for fear that he should grow up a thief, or, as they quaintly express it in Cleveland, ‘light-fingered.’


Cutting of Nails

Cut them on Monday, cut them for health,

Cut them on Tuesday, Cut them for wealth;

Cut them on Wednesday, cut them for news;

Cut them on Thursday, a pair of new shoes;

Cut them on Friday, cut them for sorrow;

Cut them on Saturday, a present tomorrow;

But he that on Sunday cuts his horn,

Better that he had never been born!

Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties of England & the Borders

William Henderson 1879


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