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Thread: one for sorrow

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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
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    • Join Date: Dec 2003
    • Posts: 514

    one for sorrow

    Can anybody explain this nursery rhyme to me?
    I can understand "one for sorrow" and "two for joy".
    But why ...

    "Three for a girl,
    Four for a boy,
    Five for silver,
    Six for gold,
    Seven for a secret
    Never to be told" ?

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: one for sorrow

    These are magpies - birds which can be rare in England (Not at the moment). Generally they are seen alone or as a pair, so the larger the number together, the more unusual it is.

    Magpies have a fearsome reputation, and it is very important to give them a proper salutation. For more about this see: Magpie superstitions


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