Q:

What does it mean when your left hand itches?

A:

There are varying beliefs and superstitions concerning an itch on the left hand. According to Italian superstition, an itch on the left hand is a sign of coming into money. An old wives' tale claims that an itch on the left hand indicates a forthcoming letter, and yet another superstitious belief holds that if the left palm itches, money is about to leave an individual's hands.

In contrast, if someone's right palm itches, the same old wives' tale holds that the individual is set to receive money. However, an itch on the right hand is generally seen as a bad omen. One old wives' tale warns that it is a sign of poverty, while another views it as the harbinger of a handshake from a fool.

The secrets of the future are not regarded as the exclusive domain of adult hands in superstitious folk belief. In deference to one of these myths, superstitious people place silver coins in their babies' hands. If the child lets go of the coin, it is believed to signal a lifetime of struggling to hold on to money. Even the famed French baguette is not immune to superstition. As of September 2014, handing over bread the wrong way up is still believed to be a harbinger of ill fortune.


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