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Shoes on the table

posted 9 years 9 months ago
My Grandma was always very worried if shoes were put on the table and said it was bad luck. Now I can understand it might not be very hygienic to put shoes you've been wearing onto the table, because who knows what you've stepped in. But Grandma would freak even if they were new shoes still in the shoebox, still in the bag from the shoe shop.
Anybody got any ideas why this would be bad luck?

RobRob Admin
posted 9 years 9 months ago
- My blog
Here's one potential explanation!

It is not just new shoes but any shoes. In mining communities the only time boots or shoes were placed on the table was when the family was informed of the death of a miner. His boots would be placed on the table to show he was dead. Subsequently, placing shoes or boots on the table was seen as either tempting fate or in poor taste.

Seeing someone's shoes on the table could severely frighten someone if they didn't know that the person was alive and well.

posted 8 years 5 months ago
My grandmother always used to tell us that having your elbows on the table would bring us bad fortune with our food, so maybe it is something related to that. Maybe it all descends from some old tale or something, which would to really interesting to read and learn about if it were out there. Nevertheless, whatever it was it was correct, as both are a no no in any home.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
Surely putting shoes on a table is just bad manners. I suppose it was easier to teach manners to kids by sugar-coating the bad ones as taboos so that the kid would be too terrified to do the wrong thing. Certainly grandparents are the ones who did that, more so than our parents.

I think that our generation, as parents, are more direct with our children and tell them as it is. If it's a bad habit we teach them not to do it while making sure that they understand why. Yes, the myths and legends are interesting and can be used on kids of a certain age, but once the child figures it out, they call you out on it.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
i don't know really what the basis of her superstitions are but i think that there is definitely some strong logic behind it. I think that we all know that introducing the types of germs that our shoes touch on a daily basis to what we are putting in our bodies is a terrible idea. Another thing might be the inverse action. I imagine that if you would put your shoes on the table then maybe your hat is on the ground. The type of people that had their hat on the ground are homeless people for the most part or those who had no other way to make money but to perform a public service for whatever anyone felt that they would like to pay.

posted 8 years 3 months ago
I have never heard of that superstition but I suppose that is true for the many that are out there. I liked the miner explanation as that really makes sense. Since superstitions were usually passed down in families, it could be possible that this is the case if your family's past generations were ever miners. In which case, your grandmother was basing her superstition of those of her ancestors. I find it interesting to try to find out the logic behind behaviors such as these since most of them do have a start in reality before they become superstitions.

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