French Bread Superstition

Theo says he learned this piece of folklore from his father, who moved from France to America in his twenties, carrying with him a heavy sense of French culture that he instilled in his children. Theo was about nine years old when he first heard this superstition, growing up in New York City, New York.

Theo says, “My dad is French, and apparently if you put a loaf bread upside down, it’s bad luck. I don’t know why this is, it’s just an old piece of weirdness. I put the bread upside down once, and my dad yelled at me. He didn’t, like, yell, but he definitely corrected me. And there’s no fixing [the bad luck] after you’ve done it. You’ve just got to not do it.” Theo says this is performed usually in the context of a kitchen or dining table, although he believes it might also apply in a bakery.

When I asked Theo what he thought about this superstition, he said, “I like it. I like, you know, old stuff that’s passed down. Even if it makes no sense.” Theo very strongly identifies with his French heritage, so I can see why and how he would like this superstition, even if he wasn’t sure why he’s doing it.

Annotated: This superstition can also be found documented on, a website promoting French and American friendship and understanding.

“Debunking the Baguette.” Agathoune. N.p., 19/MAR/2009. Web. 27 Apr 2011. <>.