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Swimming Folk belief

Posted By Andrew Hull Jr. On May 15, 2019 @ 8:15 pm In Folk Beliefs,Folk speech | Comments Disabled

The following folksaying was collected by my friend J. J is 19 years old and from Ohio.

J: My mom would always jokingly tell me “Don’t swim an hour after after you eat.”

Context: J told me that his family has a lake house and they often go swimming in the summer. His mom has told him this, but nobody in J’s family actually believes it, including his mom who told J this. J says that the belief behind this saying is that after you eat, all your blood and energy goes to your stomach, and your arms and legs therefore lose blood and energy to keep you up if you are swimming. J says that it is logical, but in his experience, he sees no difference in his swimming abilities before and after he eats. J says his mom told him this because she thought it was an interesting belief and wanted to share it with J, but didn’t believe in it and never prohibited J from swimming after he ate. J told me this folk saying in a group and it delved the group into a conversation as to whether this folk saying has any truth to it.

Analysis: This is a common folk saying that I too have heard in my lifetime. I have never heard of anyone following this folk saying however, and J felt the same way. It is surprising to me that this folksaying has survived for as long as it has, considering there seems to very few people who follow it.  It shows how people like to share information and beliefs they have heard, even if they don’t believe in it, as it can start an interesting conversation. It also shows that folk sayings are reliant on logic, not on science.


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