Urban Legends, Old Wives’ Tales, and Superstitions from North America


In this episode we are talking about interesting, funny, and strange beliefs in North American culture. Robin and Maura share a couple scary stories that they have known since they were kids. They also review popular old wives’ tales like, An apple a day keeps the doctor away. They also talk about some superstitions that some people still believe in today, including Robin! This is a great episode is you are interested in learning more about North American culture.

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Robin: The first thing we’re going to talk about today is something called an urban legend or an urban myth.
Maura: Yes, so we’re definitely talking about culture today, and after we talk about urban legends or urban myths, we’re going to talk about old wives’ tales.
Robin: Old wives’ tales, indeed. And this is…it’s a similar sort of thing. It deals with myths, once again, and stories.
Maura: And if you don’t know what it is, keep listening and we’re going to explain it.
Robin: Absolutely. And the last thing we’ll talk about today deals with superstitions. It’s a big word, superstitions.
Maura: Right, so some general superstitions that most Canadians know about and maybe some believe in a little bit.
Robin: Absolutely.
Maura: OK, so let’s start with the first topic, which is urban legends or urban myths. So it’s two names for the same thing.
Robin: What is an urban legend or an urban myth?
Maura: An urban legend is a modern story that’s a scary story or a horror story. Most of them are scary and you usually hear about them from friends. So a friend tells another friend a story, this scary story, and you don’t know where it started, you don’t know where the story came from.

Expression included from this episode in Lipservice:

urban legend urban myth
old wives’ tales superstitions
around the campfire do the talking
all by herself widespread
classic An apple a day keeps the doctor away
cure Swallowed gum will stay in your stomach for 7 years
Don’t cross your eyes or they’ll stay like that The 5- or 10-second rule
If you hear ringing in your ears that means that someone is talking about you
That’s just an old wives’ tale superstitutions
If a black cat crosses your path it means bad luck Breaking a mirror brings 7 years of bad luck
the number 13 to creep out
knock on wood jinx

Podcast/ Lipservice: Culips ESL Podcast, Photo: Jens Dahlin

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Posted in Chatterbox.