It has long been considered unlucky to count things too accurately - it is tempting fate to announce (even to yourself) the exact number in case it makes you lose some. 'Don't count your chickens before they are hatched' is an oft-quoted maxim even today. The references given in Opie and Tatem show that the fear of counting stretches back at least to biblical and classical times, but British examples only appear from the 18th century, and the majority of illustrations given by them are from Scotland. Nevertheless, English *card-players are particularly advised against counting their winnings at the card-table, and on a similar principle: 'A Suffolk shepherd . . . will seldom willingly tell even his master the number of lambs born until the lambing-season is over for fear of bad luck' (Folk-Lore 54 (1943), 390). The only thing one should definitely count is *warts, as from the mid-19th century to the present day this has been a standard way of getting rid of them.
   ■ Opie and Tatem, 1989: 101-2.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Counting — is the action of finding the number of elements of a finite set of objects. The traditional way of counting consists of continually increasing a (mental or spoken) counter by a unit for every element of the set, in some order, while marking (or… …   Wikipedia

  • Counting 5-4-3-2-1 — Single by Thursday from the album A City by the Light Divided Re …   Wikipedia

  • counting — index census, computation Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • counting — ► PREPOSITION ▪ taking account of; including …   English terms dictionary

  • counting — [[t]ka͟ʊntɪŋ[/t]] 1) PREP Not counting a particular thing means not including that thing. Counting a particular thing means including that thing. average operating profit of 15% to 16% of sales, not counting administrative expenses. Syn:… …   English dictionary

  • counting — noun the act of counting; reciting numbers in ascending order (Freq. 2) the counting continued for several hours • Syn: ↑count, ↑numeration, ↑enumeration, ↑reckoning, ↑tally • Derivationally rel …   Useful english dictionary

  • Counting — Count Count (kount), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Counted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Counting}.] [OF. conter, and later (etymological spelling) compter, in modern French thus distinguished; conter to relate (cf. {Recount}, {Account}), compter to count; fr. L.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • counting — The procedure of uniquely associating one number with each element of a set in order to arrive at a measure of the set. Along with measurement, counting is the procedure whereby mathematics is applied. Hence its objectivity is a principal datum… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • counting — n. numbering, numeration, calculating, adding up kaÊŠnt n. counting, numbering; amount; European nobleman v. enumerate; take into account …   English contemporary dictionary

  • counting — preposition taking account of; including: there were three of us, or four counting the baby …   English new terms dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”