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Superstition Wednesday Avoiding Cracks


In 1959 a married British researcher couple named Lona and Peter Opie. The pair decided to take a closer look at children's games, rhymes, and riddles at the local playgrounds. They were able to reveal a fantastic magical world through the observation of over four thousand children.

Together they took their modern techniques to children's literature, summarised in their studies The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951) and The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (1959). For the first time in history, adults took an interest in children's playtime, and through their studies, Loma and Peter discovered that children are just as superstitious as adults. This discovery leads to the understanding that beliefs picked up at a young age often stayed with the individual into adulthood.

In the U.S., children recite the rhyme, "Step on a crack, and you'll break your mother's back." Other variations are depending on your location. Some regions replace the mother with Grandmother or even the devils back. You wouldn't want to piss him off now, would you?

In England, the Opies found versions that say. "If you step on a nick, you'll marry a brick or stick, and a beetle will attend your wedding. And if you step on a crack or a spout, your mother will surely put you out."

Unfortunately, This superstition has a dark origin. It was started in the late 19th early 20th century, unfortunately when racism was prevalent in society. Being the person I am, I won't ever repeat or publish the origin. Just know that stepping on a crack and breaking the devil's back is much better than the root of this superstition.

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