May 26, 2008

*Superstitions: Rabbits' Feet


Carrying a hare's or rabbit's foot for medicinal purposes predates carrying one for luck by nearly a thousand years.

The feet were supposed cures for anything from arthritis to colic to cramps. Pliny (Elder) wrote, "Gouty pains are alleviated by a hare’s foot, cut off from the living animal, if the patient carries it about continuously on the person.”

The transition from medical charm to lucky charm apparently occurred in the United States, with Great Britain and other countries borrowing the superstition from Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries.

So why would a rabbit's foot be lucky? It seems that the idea comes from the rabbits' fertility, which translates into prosperity and abundance for the owner of a rabbit's foot.

Reference: Most of the material from this post was found in David Pickering's Dictionary of Superstitions and Steve Roud's The Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland.

Posted by Jennifer at May 26, 2008 09:00 AM | TrackBack


So does this have anything to do wiht a broken human foot? There are easier ways to hookup with the cute Dr.

Posted by: Pete at May 26, 2008 05:34 PM