“Bread and butter.”

G is a 50-year-old Caucasian female originally from Phoenix, Arizona. G is a retired school teacher.

G offered this piece of folklore during a phone conversation. I asked G if she had any folklore she would be willing to share with me, and she offered me this superstition she remembered from her childhood.

G: One funny thing growing up was um, if you’re walking with somebody and you split a pole, you would say “bread and butter.”

Reflection: I have not heard of this superstition before, but it reminds me of other phrase based superstitions like saying ”knock on wood” or ”rabbit rabbit” to negate bad luck or engender good luck, respectively. Assuming that saying ”bread and butter” is also luck related, perhaps the phrase nullifies any potential bad luck associated with being forced to separate by an obstacle. The wording of the superstition also appears to nod to the idea that bread and butter are most ideally eaten as a pair (toast), rather than being eaten as separate ingredients. In the same way, people are implied to be better suited together rather than apart by the superstition.