43 Folklore Quotes And Sayings

Folklore is the collective body of cultural traditions, beliefs, and artistic expressions that are passed from one generation to another by word of mouth, or are explicitly recorded in writing. Folklore is an important part of our history because it gives us a glimpse into the everyday lives of people in different times and places. It can also offer us insight into the customs and beliefs of fascinating people who have come before us, allowing us to learn about their habits, traditions, and more.

1
Fiction is written with reality and reality is written with fiction. We can write fiction because there is reality and we can write reality because there is fiction; everything we consider today to be myth and legend, our ancestors believed to be history and everything in our history includes myths and legends. Before the splendid modern-day mind was formed our cultures and civilizations were conceived in the wombs of, and born of, what we identify today as "fiction, unreality, myth, legend, fantasy, folklore, imaginations, fabrications and tall tales." And in our suddenly realized glory of all our modern-day "advancements" we somehow fail to ask ourselves the question "Who designated myths and legends as unreality? " But I ask myself this question because who decided that he was spectacular enough to stand up and say to our ancestors "You were all stupid and disillusioned and imagining things" and then why did we all decide to believe this person? There are many realities not just one. There is a truth that goes far beyond what we are told today to believe in. And we find that truth when we are brave enough to break away from what keeps everybody else feeling comfortable. Your reality is what you believe in. And nobody should be able to tell you to believe otherwise. . C. Joybell C.
2
In prehistoric times, early man was bowled over by natural events: rain, thunder, lightning, the violent shaking and moving of the ground, mountains spewing deathly hot lava, the glow of the moon, the burning heat of the sun, the twinkling of the stars. Our human brain searched for an answer, and the conclusion was that it all must be caused by something greater than ourselves - this, of course, sprouted the earliest seeds of religion. This theory is certainly reflected in faery lore. In the beautiful sloping hills of Connemara in Ireland, for example, faeries were believed to have been just as beautiful, peaceful, and pleasant as the world around them. But in the Scottish Highlands, with their dark, brooding mountains and eerie highland lakes, villagers warned of deadly water-kelpies and spirit characters that packed a bit more punch. Signe Pike
3
Long ago there was a little boy who lived in the wood with his father and his sister. One night, the three of them were out collecting firewood when they heard a low, delicate whimper. The father realised it was an injured animal and ordered the children to fetch water from the lake, whilst he followed the sound. Hours past but the father did not return. The children became fearful for their father’s safety and in their moment of fright, they disobeyed their father in order to find him. And find him they did. However, he was no longer the man he once was. Both his eyes were slit through their centre, oozing blood down the paleness of his face. His neck had been torn open. The entirety of his midsection was split but nothing, not one, single organ, seemed to be left within. Each limb still remained, however they had been dragged, with some exceptional force, in the opposite direction to which they were designed. The children screamed and ran, though the image of their father’s mangled corpse seemed to chase after them. They slept. Within the whisper of the wind came the sweet tune of a woman’s song. The little girl awoke to the feeling of happiness, security and motherly love that the song carried with it. She needed to find the woman it had come from. Leaving her brother, she took off into the wood to try and find the singer. The little boy quickly entered into a spit of panic when he found his sister missing. He didn’t know whether he should call out for her, look for her or wait. But waiting could mean the worst, he thought, and so he took off into the woods after her. He had searched everywhere, every dark corner and decrepit tree, before reaching the lake. The moon reflected off its black surface, which drew his attention to something bobbing within the ripples. It was a leg. When he caught sight of the foot, the boy fell to his knees. He recognised the shoe. It was his sister’s shoe; his sister’s leg. Soon enough, the other body parts came drifting to join the leg, forming a rough manifestation of what was once his sister’s living body. Firstly, there was a head facing down in the water, then arms seemingly blue under the moonlight, and lastly a torso coated in her favourite dress. He felt sick, lost, terrified to his very core. Just as thoughts of never being whole again began to pain his chest, the boy heard the snapping of a twig behind him. He dared to turn around but all he found was a small, black-furred wolf. The wolf approached him timidly, whining deep in its throat to say to the boy that he too was lonely and afraid. The boy put out his hand for the wolf to join him and they sat together. Perhaps he would be OK. Perhaps all that had happened had led to this; something new. He rustled the fur of his new friend, starting with its back then its ear before going under its snout. His hand touched something wet and sticky. He drew it from the wolf to get a better look, only to find a crimson substance now clinging to his small hands. Blood. The wolf turned on the boy as its eyes became a pale blue before thwack! He tore the boy’s face from his head… . S.R. Crawford
4
It would be dreadfullyironic, I mused, if once I earned a soul, I forgot everything about being fey, including all my memories of her. That sort of ending seemedappropriately tragic; the smitten fey creature becomes human but forgets why he wanted to in the first place. Old fairy tales loved that sort of irony. Julie Kagawa
5
Intelligence reports and local folklore together perpetuated tales of his bloody adventures across the rim worlds and badlands of Terran space. It was his trademark and often over the last two decades, history proclaimed in large bloody letters that ‘Kilroy woz ‘ere. Christina Engela
6
On Ryukyu islands, the expert Kara-te practitioners, used their skills to subdue, control and generally teach bullies A lesson, rather than severely injure or kill their attackers. They knew full well the consequences of their actions and the trail of blood and retribution that would ensue Soke Behzad Ahmadi
7
Back at the cottage we explored the topography of my body; twigs in my hair, calves striped red and my skirt smudged in meadowtones. The forest underlined me, accentuated me, illustrated me. I felt alive in that midnight village whose dark places left their signatures on my skin, whose bites still hummed around my wrists. I didn’t notice till then the thousand nettle stings rising like pearls; burning bracelets that my love kissed and rubbed with dock leaves; a folk remedy painting my pulse points green; honorary stalks. . Jalina Mhyana
8
He threw the knife at Karian’s face, deliberately catching his temple. “Sons of Kings shouldn’t play with sharp toys. Traceyanne McCartney
9
Vila the White, Built a City up height, Not in the Heavens, not on the ground, But on the edge of a Cloud, Vila the White, Put defenses the bright: Gold defends the heights, Sun defends the gate, Moon defends the City when it's late, Vila the White, Stood with Sun at sight, Watching what comes from the bay, And saw Lightning and Thunder play, Vila the White, Wed her son on Moon at night, And gave her daughter to Gold, as bride, They have couple brothers, she's their brother's wife. Stanislaw Sielicki
10
Sleep my baby, rock-a-bye, On the edge you must not lie. Wolf the Fluffy roams astray, Will he grab you, drag away? Into Furthest Darkest Woods, Hide you under Willow roots? There birdies chirp and squeak, Will they let you fall asleep? Stanislaw Sielicki
11
The mirror sighed and spoke in a tone tinged with melancholy. Its language was old and not of any of the worlds known or unknown. What you dream, what you darkly desire, Find it by trial or by fire. Seek it high and seek it low, Search the skies or the realms below. Look everywhere but beware, The deepest magic, the strongest spell Will not change what the stars foretell. Sukanya Venkatraghavan
12
I've spent my life wondering when I would earn the right to be a man again. Despite the undeserved good fortune of finding my true love, I always held a kernel of bitterness in my heart that things were not different... I will never be the man that I was. That man is dead–slain–for better or for worse, by my life as the Beast. In your words, the world does not need who I was. Jack Heckel
13
Together they’d run away. Together they could find a place to call home. Together they’d finally form their own constellation and never break apart again. He would be her starlight again and she his sun. Hella Grichi
14
Thus Arthur achieved the adventure of the sword that day and entered into his birthright of royalty. Wherefore, may God grant His Grace unto you all that ye too may likewise succeed in your undertakings. For any man may be a king in that life in which he is placed if so he may draw forth the sword of success from out of the iron of circumstance. Wherefore when your time of assay cometh, I do hope it may be with you as it was with Arthur that day, and that ye too may achieve success with entire satisfaction unto yourself and to your great glory and perfect happiness. . Howard Pyle
15
Allegorical stories of saints battling with giants, monsters and demons may be interpreted as symbolizing the Christian's fight against paganism. At Bwlch Rhiwfelen (Denbigh) St Collen fought and killed a cannibal giantess, afterwards washing away the blood-stains in a well later known as Ffynnon Gollen. In Ireland, the tales of saints slaying giant serpents may have the same meaning; alternatively they (or some of them) may refer to early sightings of genuine water monsters. St Barry banished a serpent from a mountain into Lough Lagan (Roscommon), and a holy well sprang up where the saint's knee touched the ground. . Colin Bord
16
All it takes, is one leap of faith. E.K. Dobbins
17
Had she believed all that? Old Pilar's folklore? No, not really; or not exactly. Most likely Pilar hadn't quite believed it either, but it was a reassuring story: that the dead were not entirely dead but were alive in a different way; a paler way admittedly, and somewhat darker. But still able to send messages, if only such messages could be recognized and deciphered. People need such stories, Pilar said once, because however dark, a darkness with voices in it is better than a silent void. . Margaret Atwood
18
Naughty children have to be protected. Even if it's just from themselves. Marika McCoola
19
Broken things can be fixed and healed. Nothing is too difficult or too dirty to clean. Marika McCoola
20
Never interrupt a faerie circle ceremony. And, if a faerie has appeared to you, visually, do not speak to it until it has spoken to you. These two transgressions are considered so rude, that the faeries may literally attack you, on the spot. Alexei Maxim Russell
21
Never invite any kind of spirit to enter either your home or your person. This is an extremely important point to remember. To do so always risks to unwittingly invite evil spirits in, instead. Good spirits never need to be invited in. Alexei Maxim Russell
22
In Europe, what seems to bond toads and toadstools strongly is their shared role as potentially toxic "agents of death", and their close associations with magic and the supernatural. In Christian thought, both were seen to represent the dark and evil threads of nature's tapestry. Both appeared in late medieval art in representations of hell, particularly in the work of Flemish artists. Adrian Morgan
23
Our house was an old Tudor mansion. My father was very particular in keeping the smallest peculiarities of his home unaltered. Thus the many peaks and gables, the numerous turrets, and the mullioned windows with their quaint lozenge panes set in lead, remained very nearly as they had been three centuries back. Over and above the quaint melancholy of our dwelling, with the deep woods of its park and the sullen waters of the mere, our neighborhood was thinly peopled and primitive, and the people round us were ignorant, and tenacious of ancient ideas and traditions. Thus it was a superstitious atmosphere that we children were reared in, and we heard, from our infancy, countless tales of horror, some mere fables doubtless, others legends of dark deeds of the olden time, exaggerated by credulity and the love of the marvelous. ("Horror: A True Tale") . John Berwick Harwood
24
Imagine a perfect world Bruce McQueen
25
Often I felt that these men were play-acting: the unreality of their role was their security, even their own destinies were to them saga and folk-tale rather than a private matter; these were men under a spell, men who had been turned into birds or even more likely into some strange beast, and who bore their magic shapes with the same unflurried equanimity, magnanimity, and dignity that we children had marvelled at the beasts of fairy tale. Did they not suspect, moreover, with the wordless apprehension of animals, that if their magic shapes were to be stripped from them the fairy tale would be at an end and their security gone, too, while real life would begin with all it's problems, perhaps in some town where there was neither nature or mirage, no link with the folk-tale and the past, no ancient path to the far side of the mountains and down to the river gullies and out beyond the grass plains, no landmarks from the Sagas? - Only a restless search for sterile, deadening enjoyment. Unknown
26
Finally, I’d say to anyone who wants to tell these tales, don’t be afraid to be superstitious. If you have a lucky pen, use it. If you speak with more force and wit when wearing one red sock and one blue one, dress like that. When I’m at work I’m highly superstitious. My own superstition has to do with the voice in which the story comes out. I believe that every story is attended by its own sprite, whose voice we embody when we tell the tale, and that we tell it more successfully if we approach the sprite with a certain degree of respect and courtesy. These sprites are both old and young, male and female, sentimental and cynical, sceptical and credulous, and so on, and what’s more, they’re completely amoral: like the air-spirits who helped Strong Hans escape from the cave, the story-sprites are willing to serve whoever has the ring, whoever is telling the tale. To the accusation that this is nonsense, that all you need to tell a story is a human imagination, I reply, ‘Of course, and this is the way my imagination works. Philip Pullman
27
If you read fairy tales carefully, you’ll notice they are mostly about people who aren’t heroes. They don’t have special powers, or gifts. Often they are despised as stupid, They are bullied, beaten up, robbed, starved. But they find they are stronger than their misfortunes. Amanda Craig
28
So how did it go? I sat on the toilet and ran a hand over my hair. Um... it's still going, I whispered. It's still going? Then what are you doing calling me? Well... it's just that... What? How could I put this? I can't find his penis. Claire paused for half a second. How drunk are you? Denise Grover Swank
29
Where would tourism be without a little luxury and a taste of night life? There were several cities on Deanna, all moderate in size, but the largest was the capital, Atro City. For the connoisseur of fast-foods, Albrechts’ famous hotdogs and coldcats were sold fresh from his stall (Albrecht’s Takeaways) on Lupini Square. For the sake of his own mental health he had temporarily removed Hot Stuff Blend from the menu. The city was home to Atro City University, which taught everything from algebra and make-up application to advanced stamp collecting; and it was also home to the planet-famous bounty hunter — Beck the Badfeller. Beck was a legend in his own lifetime. If Deanna had any folklore, then Beck the Badfeller was one of its main features. He was the local version of Robin Hood, the Davy Crockett of Deanna. The Local rumor mill had it he was so good he could find the missing day in a leap year. Once, so the story goes, he even found a missing sock. Christina Engela
30
The Dreamer awakes The shadow goes by The tale I have told you, That tale is a lie. But listen to me, Bright maiden, proud youth The tale is a lie; What it tells is the truth. Traditional Folktale Ending
31
An intelligent enemy, ' he would say, stroking his beard as if it were a bristly pet, 'rather than a foolish friend.' Or, 'He learnt the language of pigeons, and forgot his own.' Or, the favourite of Jan Fishan Khan: 'Nothing is what it seems. Tahir Shah
32
1. Santa Claus is real. However, your parents are folkloric constructs meant to protect and foritfy children against the darknesses of the real world. They are symbols representing the return of the sun and the end of winter, the sacrifice of the king and the eternal fecundity of the queen. They wear traditional vestments and are associated with certain seasonal plants, animals, and foods. After a certain age, no intelligent child continues believing in their parents, and it is embarrassing when one professes such faith after puberty. Santa Claus, however, will never fail us. . Catherynne M. Valente
33
Increase Mather, President of Harvard University, in his treatise on Remarkable Providences, insists that the smell of herbs alarms the Devil and that medicine expels him. Such beliefs have probably even now not wholly disappeared from among us. James Henry Breasted
34
The Celt, and his cromlechs, and his pillar-stones, these will not change much — indeed, it is doubtful if anybody at all changes at any time. In spite of hosts of deniers, and asserters, and wise-men, and professors, the majority still are adverse to sitting down to dine thirteen at a table, or being helped to salt, or walking under a ladder, of seeing a single magpie flirting his chequered tale. There are, of course, children of light who have set their faces against all this, although even a newspaperman, if you entice him into a cemetery at midnight, will believe in phantoms, for everyone is a visionary, if you scratch him deep enough. But the Celt, unlike any other, is a visionary without scratching. . W.b. Yeats
35
It must be understood that in some cases the process by which a god or goddess degenerates into a fairy may occupy centuries, and that in the passage of generations such an alteration may be brought about in appearance and traits as to make it seem impossible that any relationship actually exists between the old form and the new. This may be accounted for by the circumstance that in gradually assuming the traits of fairyhood the god or goddess may also have taken on the characteristics of fairies which Already existed in the minds of the folk, the elves of a past age, who were already elves at a period when he or she still flourished in the full vigour of godhead. For in one sense Faerie represents a species of limbo, a great abyss of traditional material, into which every kind of ancient belief came to be cast as the acceptance of one new faith after another dictated the abandonment of forms and ideas unacceptable to its doctrines. The difference between god and fairy is indeed the difference between religion and folk-lore. . Lewis Spence
36
The use of ghosts as a means of social control predated the Klan. Slave owners employed so-called patterollers, usually poor whites, who would patrol the countryside at night; such patrols would regularlyuse spook stories, among other tactics, to help keep enslaved people from escaping. "The fraudulent ghost, " [Gladys-Marie] Fry writes, "was the first in a gradually developed system of night-riding creatures, the fear of which was fostered by white for the purpose of slave control." A man in a white sheet on horseback riding ominously through a forest could help substantiate rumers that the forest was haunted and that those who valued their lives best avoid it. By spreading ghost stories, Southern whites hoped to limit the unauthorized movement of black people. If cemeteries, crossroads, and forests came to be known particularly as haunted, it's because they presented the easiest means of escape and had to be patrolled. Now it's common to think of such places as the provenance of spirits. We have stories for such places: a tragic death, forlorn lovers, a devil waiting to make a deal -- stories that reflect a rich tradition of American folklore. But all this might have come much later, and these places might have first earned their haunted reputation through much more deviant methods. In the ghost-haunting legacies of many of these public spaces lies a hidden history of patrolling and limiting access. Colin Dickey
37
I knew by the signs it would be a hard winter. The hollies bore a heavy crop of berries and birds stripped them bare. Crows quarreled in reaped fields and owls cried in the mountains, mournful as widows. Fur and moss grew thicker than usual. Cold rains came, driven sideways through the trees by north winds, and snows followed. Sarah Micklem
38
Micel walcan wolde we do from that daeg micel walcan in the great holt the brunnesweald but though we walced for wices months years though this holt becum ham to me for so long still we did not see efen a small part of it so great was this deop eald wud. so great was it that many things dwelt there what was not cnawan to man but only in tales and in dreams. wihts for sure the boar the wulf the fox efen the bera it was saed by sum made this holt their ham. col beorners and out laws was in here as they was in all wuds but deop deoper efen than this was the eald wihts what was in angland before menhere i is meanan the aelfs and the dweorgs and ents who is of the holt who is the treows them selfs. my grandfather he telt me he had seen an aelf at dusc one daeg he seen it flittan betweon stoccs of treows thynne it was and grene and its eages was great and blaec and had no loc of man in them. well he was blithe to lif after that for oft it is saed that to see an aelf is to die for they sceots their aelf straels at thu and aelfscot is a slow death . Paul Kingsnorth
39
Early Summer, loveliest season, The world is being colored in. While daylight lasts on the horizon, Sudden, throaty blackbirds sing. The dusty-colored cuckoo cuckoos." Welcome, summer" is what he says. Winter's unimaginable. The wood's a wickerwork of boughs. Summer means the river's shallow, Thirsty horses nose the pools. Long heather spreads out on bog pillows. White bog cotton droops in bloom. Swallows swerve and flicker up. Music starts behind the mountain. There's moss and a lush growth underfoot. Spongy marshland glugs and stutters. Bog banks shine like ravens' wings. The cuckoo keeps on calling welcome. The speckled fish jumps; and the strong Swift warrior is up and running. A little, jumpy, chirpy fellow Hits the highest note there is; The lark sings out his clear tidings. Summer, shimmer, perfect days. Marie Heaney
40
The mind is filled with thoughts, but the heart is filled with wishes, and they have since the beginning of time been the core of all folklore. Ross Turner
41
Beer gurgled through the beard. 'You see, ' the young man began, 'the desert's so big you can't be alone in it. Ever notice that? It's all empty and there's nothing in sight, but there's always something moving over there where you can't quite see it. It's something very dry and thin and brown, only when you look around it isn't there. Ever see it?'' Optical fatigue -' Tallant began.' Sure. I know. Every man to his own legend. There isn't a tribe of Indians hasn't got some way of accounting for it. You've heard of the Watchers? And the twentieth-century white man comes along, and it's optical fatigue. Only in the nineteenth century things weren't quite the same, and there were the Carkers.''You've got a special localized legend?'' Call it that. You glimpse things out of the corner of your mind, same like you glimpse lean, dry things out of the corner of your eye. You incase 'em in solid circumstance and they're not so bad. That is known as the Growth of Legend. The Folk Mind in Action. You take the Carkers and the things you don't quite see and put 'em together. And they bite.' Tallant wondered how long that beard had been absorbing beer. 'And what were the Carkers?' he prompted politely.' Ever hear of Sawney Bean? Scotland - reign of James the First or maybe the Sixth, though I think Roughead's wrong on that for once. Or let's be more modern - ever hear of the Benders? Kansas in the 1870's? No? Ever hear of Procrustes? Or Polyphemus? Or Fee-fi-fo-fum?'There are ogres, you know. They're no legend. They're fact, they are. The inn where nine guests left for every ten that arrived, the mountain cabin that sheltered travelers from the snow, sheltered them all winter till the melting spring uncovered their bones, the lonely stretches of road that so many passengers traveled halfway - you'll find 'em everywhere. All over Europe and pretty much in this country too before communications became what they are. Profitable business. And it wasn't just the profit. The Benders made money, sure; but that wasn't why they killed all their victims as carefully as a kosher butcher. Sawney Bean got so he didn't give a damn about the profit; he just needed to lay in more meat for the winter.' And think of the chances you'd have at an oasis.'' So these Carkers of yours were, as you call them, ogres?'' Carkers, ogres - maybe they were Benders. The Benders were never seen alive, you know, after the townspeople found those curiously butchered bodies. There's a rumor they got this far West. And the time checks pretty well. There wasn't any town here in the 80s. Just a couple of Indian families - last of a dying tribe living on at the oasis. They vanished after the Carkers moved in. That's not so surprising. The white race is a sort of super-ogre, anyway. Nobody worried about them. But they used to worry about why so many travelers never got across this stretch of desert. The travelers used to stop over at the Carkers, you see, and somehow they often never got any further. Their wagons'd be found maybe fifteen miles beyond in the desert. Sometimes they found the bones, too, parched and white. Gnawed-looking, they said sometimes.'' And nobody ever did anything about these Carkers?''Oh, sure. We didn't have King James the Sixth - only I still think it was the First - to ride up on a great white horse for a gesture, but twice there were Army detachments came here and wiped them all out.'' Twice? One wiping-out would do for most families.' Tallant smiled at the beery confusion of the young man's speech.' Uh-huh, That was no slip. They wiped out the Carkers twice because you see once didn't do any good. They wiped 'em out and still travelers vanished and still there were white gnawed bones. So they wiped 'em out again. After that they gave up, and people detoured the oasis.(" They Bite") . Anthony Boucher
42
How different this world to the one about which I used to read, and in which I used to live! This is one peopled by demons, phantoms, vampires, ghouls, boggarts, and nixies. Names of things of which I knew nothing are now so familiar that the creatures themselves appear to have real existence. The Arabian Nights are not more fantastic than our gospels; and Lempriere would have found ours a more marvelous world to catalog than the classical mythical to which he devoted his learning. Ours is a world of luprachaun and clurichaune, deev and cloolie, and through the maze of mystery I have to thread my painful way, now learning how to distinguish oufe from pooka, and nis from pixy; study long screeds upon the doings of effreets and dwergers, or decipher the dwaul of delirious monks who have made homunculi from refuse. Waking or sleeping, the image of some uncouth form is always present to me. What would I not give for a volume by the once despised 'A. L. O. E' or prosy Emma Worboise? Talk of the troubles of Winifred Bertram or Jane Eyre, what are they to mine? Talented authoresses do not seem to know that however terrible it may be to have as a neighbour a mad woman in a tower, it is much worse to have to live in a kitchen with a crocodile. This elementary fact has escaped the notice of writers of fiction; the re-statement of it has induced me to reconsider my decision as to the most longed-for book; my choice now is the Swiss Family Robinson. In it I have no doubt I should find how to make even the crocodile useful, or how to kill it, which would be still better.(" Mysterious Maisie") . Wirt Gerrare