“Stop shaking your leg!”

“Don’t shake your leg at the table please.”


This Korean proverb was told to me by my friend when we were having dinner together. I have this bad habit of shaking my leg when I eat or if I am studying. My informant told me not to shake my leg because it is bad luck to do so. I always heard from my mom to stop shaking my leg but I never the reason why other than it was just annoying to others. My informant explained that our bodies house our good fortune of wealth, health, and love. By constantly shaking a body part, be it a leg, arm, or foot, we are basically shaking away our luck.


This proverb reminds me of the Chinese proverb of not constantly showering or washing your hair before an exam because water washes away your luck. It is interesting how many different variations there are for the same concept. I suspect, however, the proverb is mostly told by parents to their children to stop the bad habit of shaking one’s leg.