Old Wives Tales

2024-01-19 00:00:00 / episode: 368


When I was a young boy, I loved eating watermelon, but my mother always said,

don't swallow the seeds, or they'll grow inside you and you'll have watermelons coming out your mouth.

Actually, I can't remember if my mom said that or if my big sister said that, but it worked.

After that, I joyfully spat the seeds out every time.

What are old wives’ tails, and what are some examples of them? Let's take a fun look at some of these stories.

Hi and welcome to the Les Perras podcast episode number 368.

This episode is about old wives tales.

What are They?

Old wives tales are pieces of advice that we give to each other.

Tradition tells us that women would say these to each other or to their children.

These pieces of advice were usually given with the intention of trying to control the behavior of other people,

but sometimes they had other intentions. Sometimes they were just made up.


Swimming After Eating Will Give You Debilitating Cramps

There must've been some situation in the past where some poor youth went swimming after eating

and then had problems swimming and drowned.

The logical conclusion is that eating a lot before swimming is bad.

And then from there swimming after eating will give you cramps.

This was told to me in my early swimming schools.

Now we found that it's simply not true.

Chewing gum

Chewing Gum Stays in Your Stomach for Seven Years.

My brother told me that I can't swallow my gum because it's

gonna stay in my stomach.

the fear then is that if it stays there and

I swallow some more gum the next day

now I've got two pieces of gum in there

and so on.

Pretty soon you've got this in enormous piece of gum in your Stomach.

That's going to stay for seven years and that will cause all sorts of unimaginable problems.

Of course it's not true


Coffee Stunts Your Growth; I heard many adults tell me this.

I'm not sure why they didn't want me to drink coffee but my suspicion is that they wanted coffee to remain an adult drink.

That makes it special and put them in the adult club where children don't belong.

A lot of adults like to do this.

Of course, children can drink coffee with no problem.

Gray Hairs

Plucking Gray Hairs Will Make Two More Grow In.

I'm not sure why people said this, but maybe it's got to do with a dislike of vanity.

I can sort of agree.

What I mean is when I see people vainly plucking their gray hairs I feel like they are wasting their time on something that is inevitable.

In order to stop people from plucking their gray hairs, you might tell them two will grow back to create a fear that they're going to make their problem even worse than before.

But this is simply not true.


Sitting too Close to the TV Ruins Your Eyes.

my mother definitely told me this one.

She always came in and made sure that we were at least one and a half meters back from the TV screen when we were children.

She often said that there were dangerous rays that came out of the TV screen.

Somehow these rays mysteriously evaporated after a meter and a half and we were safe.

Of course the problem is not being close to the screen.

The problem is watching for long periods of time at the same focal distance.

This can be fixed by moving around.


Shaving Makes Hair Grow Back Thicker.

I honestly don't know why people said this.

Perhaps they said this to encourage young men to shave so that they would grow thicker beards.

I haven't done a detailed analysis of this, but growing a beard is generally considered a sign of manliness.

Of course, I don't shave my beard to make it grow back thicker.

I know that it won't grow back thicker, and my beard is so thin that it's pathetic.

That's why I shave.

I don't want to have a pathetic beard.


That's enough examples for now.

The list seems to be endless. But if you are interested in superstitions, listen to my podcast on the topic of superstitions.