My informant is my best friend’s mother. She comes from a very Italian family, and learned a lot of folklore from her own grandmother. She is a fascinating woman who has traveled the world. She has a wide knowledge of Native American history and folklore. She is involved with the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, a diverse group of women from around the world who are devoted to prayer. She lives on Nantucket, so I was able to Skype with her one day to talk about things she has learned from her Italian heritage, in particular, as well as her other vast knowledge of folklore from around the world.


Informant: “I have so many idioms that my grandmother used to always say. I can remember them so clearly.”

“Every cloud has a silver lining.”

“No pain lasts forever.”

“Nothing is so bad that nothing good doesn’t come of it.”

“Be careful what you store away, like resentments. If your closet gets too full when you open it, it will all fall out and it will create a big mess.”


Me: “Did she say these often?”

Informant: “Oh, yes. She said these all the time.”


These little idioms remind me of proverbs… little pieces of advice that have been passed down through the generations in this family. There is no doubt in my mind that my best friend has heard these all, in turn, form her mother (the informant, in this case)