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Weather Wisdom

Proverbs, Superstitions, and Signs

Stewart A. Kingsbury, Mildred E. Kingsbury and Wolfgang Mieder

This collection of 4.435 proverbs, superstitions, and signs concerning the weather is the most comprehensive survey ever put together for English and American weather wisdom. Included are figurative proverbs, predicative sayings, superstitions, and weather rules attached to particular dates. While they lack the scientific precision of modern meteorology, these proverbs contain the collective wisdom of generations of people who have depended on knowing at least to some degree of certainty what the weather might bring. The texts are based on oral and written sources, with each text and its variants being annotated by references to major collections of weather lore from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In addition to this comprehensive list of traditional meteorological sayings, the book also includes an introduction to the origin, history, dissemination, meaning, and value of these folk expressions. A bibliography for the large field of weather folklore and an index are provided to facilitate the use of this volume. Its content should be of interest to anybody interested in weather lore, both the general public and professional meteorologists.