Spilled Salt

The other day I spilled salt while I was making dinner. Without thinking, I swept it up in my right hand and tossed it over my left shoulder.

I do this anytime I spill salt – it’s practically second nature. I picked it up from Mamaw or Daddy one. They both believed it was unlucky to spill salt. And both of them tossed it over their shoulder as a counter-jinx.

Isn’t this one of the most basic Southern superstitions? I always thought it was until Belle caught me in the act and asked why I was throwing salt all over the floor.

After I explained, she told me that tossing salt on the floor seemed less like a counter-jinx and more like rotten luck for whoever’s got to sweep it up. I laughed. She might be right.

Though she teased, I caught her tossing a little pinch of salt over her shoulder after she took the picture above. Like me, she’s not willing to take any chances when it comes to her luck.

Did you grow up believing that spilled salt is bad luck too? If not, did you give credence to any other salt superstitions?

Other Salt Superstitions

  • Pass the salt, pass the sorrow. Passing salt to someone is bad luck. Instead of handing someone the salt, place it on the table close enough for them to pick it up themselves.
  • Short of salt, short of money. It’s bad luck to run out of salt. Always make sure there’s some on hand.
  • Never let someone borrow salt. Gift it or sell it to avoid misfortune.
  • Salt wards off boogers and haints.
  • Giving salt as a housewarming present brings good fortune and prosperity to the new home.

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