21 SUPERSTITIONS – podcast episode 21 – transcript

Hello! What is said to bring good luck or bad luck in the States? Find out about superstitions in our new episode on iTunes or here :  


And here’s the transcript!  Enjoy!  Marta



M – Let’s talk about SUPERSTITIONS!

M – First off, Cindy, let’s define what a superstition is.

C – Good idea. A superstition is a blindly accepted belief or notion, not based on reason, knowledge or logic. Superstitions are an interesting part of every culture around the world.

M – I realized that we make references to superstitions in everyday language without noticing.

C – So true, for example: “I‘m sorry I’m not in a great mood today, I must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.”

M – Yes, I’ve heard this one a hundred times!

C – It’s very common, and even used by people who don’t actually believe in superstitions, it’s just become part of everyday language.

M – Ok, so let’s start from the beginning. We say that certain things BRING GOOD LUCK and others BRING BAD LUCK, right?

C – Right, for example breaking a mirror brings bad luck, it is considered to bring bad luck for the next seven years. So maybe the wrinkles on my face will disappear after 7 years? Hmmm…that’s a long time to wait.

M – You’re right… I remember a song by Europe: (singing) “… and if a mirror should break, it’s easy to take, deep down I know that you care, but I’m not superstitious..”

C – Ok, then, Joey Tempest is not SUPERSTITIOUS, but what about you?

M – Neither am I. I mean, I have no problem walking under a ladder – that is known to bring bad luck.

C- I’m miserable if I’m on a ladder…because that means I’m up there having to paint a wall or something….I hate painting.

M- and I’m happy if a black cat crosses my path, because I love cats and I don’t believe any cute black kitty can bring me bad luck.

C – How about spilling salt? Do you think it brings bad luck?

M -very simply, I think spilling salt is wasting salt!

C – Maybe that’s the reason for this superstition, back in the old days when salt was very expensive, and essential for things like food preservation, even spilling a few grains could be costly for a poor family.

M – Yes, superstitions seem irrational to us nowadays, but there must be some hidden explanation behind each and every one of them.

C – So, Marta, you’re a rational kind of woman, right?

M – Well, I don’t know. Sometimes I find myself crossing my fingers when hoping for good luck, that’s a habit, irrational, illogical. I just do it. And my bedroom walls are covered with dream catchers, I love them, they make me feel safe in the night. So…I think we all are influenced by some little irrational belief. What about you, Cindy? Do you knock on wood, or anything else?

C – No, not so much…I’m more of an irrational phobia kind-of-girl. I’m terrified of snakes…y’know, stuff like that.

M – What else brings good or bad luck in the US?

C – Oh, soooo many things… let me think… Never step on a crack and never open an umbrella inside your house, those things are said to bring bad luck. But on the opposite end, if your nose itches, then you will receive money… and if you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake, with just one breath of air, then your dream will come true. And, back to bad luck, the number 13 is thought to be unlucky.

M – You’re right, numbers! That’s interesting!

C – Well, I guess everyone already knows about Friday the 13th, right? There were all those horror movies of that title.

M – Yes, while in Italy you must beware of Friday the 17th!

C – Really? That’s a lot to remember. Now I’ll have to adjust my superstitions according to what side of the pond I’m on!

M – Yeah, every country seems to have their bad luck number. I’ve heard about number 4 in Japan, for instance.

C – Hey, listeners, please tell us about the superstitions in your own countries! We’re curious to know about your beliefs. It’ll be a fascinating topic of conversation!

M – Yes, that would be great! I’m sure our listeners have some very interesting superstitions to share with us out there.

C- I bet. For example, superstitions and pre-game rituals are prevalent in the sporting world. So Marta and I look forward to hearing about your traditions as well. Oh, Marta, that reminds me, we should also mention a few things that bring good luck.

M – …like…listening to our podcast? right?

C – Of course….but also a four-leaf clover or a horseshoe, or finding a lucky penny in the street…or some people believe ladybugs (they’re called ladybirds in England) to bring good luck.

M – Yes, yes, ok, but don’t underestimate listening to our podcast, right?

C – Right.

C – Ok, everyone, we’ve come to the end of another episode. We await your comments on twitter, facebook, podomatic.com, iTunes and on our blog http://www.myamericanfriendblog.com

M – Thank you for listening and don’t miss the transcript of this episode!

C – Hey Marta, my ears are ringing- someone must be talking about me….

M – Who knows? Could be one of our listeners from anywhere in the world! 🙂

C – Bye bye everyone!

M – bye!




– Good luck:

Crossing your fingers

Knocking on wood

when your nose itches (you will receive money)

blowing out all the candles on your birthday cake with one breath of air (your dream will come true)

a four-leaf clover

a horseshoe

finding a lucky penny in the street


…listening to my American friend!!! (just kidding!)

– Bad luck:

waking up on the wrong side of the bed

breaking a mirror

walking under a ladder

a black cat crossing your path

spilling salt

stepping on a crack

opening an umbrella inside a house

the number 13 and Friday 13th


– and if your ears are ringing someone is talking about you

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