From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article
To the two users below me, perhaps english isn't your first language, or maybe you've just heard it wrong... the fact remains that the saying is "old wives' tale" NOT "old wise tale". It's akin to some people hearing the saying "a dog eat dog world" as "a doggy-dog world", people may misuse it, but that does not make it correct. In addition, you'll find the only version of the saying in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as "old wives' tale". For more proof, you can do a google book search and see the only areas where "old wise tale" is used is to emphasize a character's ignorance, or simplicity. Callopo (talk) 06:17, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
"If you go swimming less than an hour after you've eaten, you'll get cramps. False, but some scientists do in fact advise not to swim - or engage in any physical activity - for some time after eating, as the parasympathetic nervous system will kick in and start digestion, overriding the orders of the sympathetic nervous system which brings the body into the mode for physical activities"
I edited out that entry per>
When exercising, a side stitch (or side cramp) is an intense stabbing pain under the lower edge of the ribcage. It is also referred to as exercise related transient abdominal pain (ETAP). This pain is caused by the internal organs (like the liver and stomach) pulling downwards on the diaphragm. It is therefore more likely to occur in sports involving up and down actions - like running, jumping and horse riding.
There are more theories regarding ETAP than merely stretching of the visceral ligaments due to repeated vertical translation and jolting. Other theories include:
1. Diaphragmatic Ischemia 2. Imbalances of the thoracic spine 3. Irritation of the parietal peritoneum
The reasons for these theories include, in particular, the prevalence of ETAP during swimming.
Preventing a side stitch
* Improve fitness * Strengthen the diaphragm by using exercises such as those that aid respiratory rehabilitation * Strengthen core muscles (abdominals, lower back, obliques) * Limit consumption of food and drink two to three hours before exercising
(in particular, drinks of high carbohydrate content and osmolality (reconstituted fruit juices))
there seems to be a legitimate dispute regarding that old wives tale, and limiting food intake, ensuring proper hydration, fitness ect are a reasonable precautions, Im all for debunking, but few entries here have the potential to be as fatal as drowning represents. A blanket statement either way seems false, with a large number of other variables coming into play, for some a 5 course meal followed by a moonlight dip is likely fine, for less fit or the dehydrated far less intake could be dangerous.
Overly pessimistic maxims do save lives if only in a small percentage of cases Rather maybe a link to a separate wiki entry weighting the arguments both for and against.
In researching I've seen lots of references to "old wives' tale". It is "old wive's tale" because "wives" is only ever a plural, much like it is "children's coats". What is it about the apostrophe that people find so hard? CGS 22:02 25 Jun 2003 (UTC).
Hey, it's at least half-true that standing in the cold without a coat, and particularily without a cap causes cold, pneumonia and other diseases of the respiratory system.
It's true that cold is caused by a virus, and pneumonia is caused by a bacteria. But these germs are abundant, and do not attack just everyone - they attack mainly when organism is hypotermized.
--Grzes 00:27, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Spending prolonged amounts of time in the cold, could lower the core body temperature, which could adversely affect immune responses(at least partially) the same way lack of sleep or lack of food would. I'd admit that the effect would be weak, and wouldn't guarantee exposure to pathogens, but i think in the case of a severely hypothermic person, it would be significant. But I suppose if hypothermia is your problem, the hypothetical increase in succeptibility to a disease you probably wont come into contact with and won't affect you for at least a few days would be the least of your worries. Who would be willing to even test that? And who really cares besides? Who wants to be in the cold without a coat anyway? 22.214.171.124 09:50, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Most infectious bacteria propagate better in temperatures slightly lower than the normal 37C of the human body (hence the purpose of fever). However your "core temperature" being slightly lowered is the defenition for hypothermia. My understanding of the bacteriology unit was that heavy breathing of cold air is capable of lowering the temperature of the lungs, increasing susceptibility to any pathogen that targets the lungs. But it's not just about temperature, as protective cilia and mucous line the lungs. Studies are often not as specific as they should be. Perhaps a study of subjects running in the cold might show different results.
Pneumonia may be caused by several pathogens not just bacteria. viruses, fungi, and protozoa may cause pneumonia as well, since it's a broad term The Nanto (talk) 10:19, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Chocolate causes acne
Chocolate does not cause acne; in fact, there is little evidence that one's diet affects acne at all. This is an example of an old wives' tale used to discourage something (the large quantities of chocolate some children eat is unhealthy in other ways) by associating it with something that people are afraid of.
Although it's true that what you eat won't affect acne, you still might get rashes or other allergic reactions. This might be as subtle as a little redness, which is also caused by acne. In addition, eating oily foods and then touching your face might do something. Blueaster 00:38, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
"This is not at all true as chewing gum is digested just like any other piece of food." "digested" means broken down, leading to absorption. Gum is not digested, but passes through your system. So maybe "excreted" would be a better word Blueaster 00:47, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Since I rarely eat chocolate, I can say with absolute certainty that my face ALWAYS breaks out the week following consumption of chocolate, with no other changes in my diet. I know what the scientists say, but I can say from personal experience that chocolate does indeed cause acne- at least on me.
A while ago i read that eating chocolate (or excessive amounts of sugar) increase your insulin level's, which inturn increases the amount of oil in your sweat, thus incresing your chance of pimples. I will try and find verufucation of this, but nutrition facts seem to change from week to week, so who knows.
I'm not so sure about rusty nails being no worse than other nails. It is true that an anaerobic climate is necessary for growth of Clostridium tetani and that oxides of iron would not be expected to depelete their neighborhood of oxygen. However, this simple view does not take into account the fact that rust particles and dirt accumulated within the rust could be deposited as "foreign bodies" in a wound, giving rise to infections with other organisms, changes in the actions of enzymes and other metabolic effects together with devitalization of the affected area, all of which could encourage proliferation of the tetatus microbe. Perhaps there are reports in the medical literature that might clarify whether rust contributes to tetanus. Myron 15:42, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
Is this really an Old Wives Tale? Was there a time when people went around stepping on nails such that a story of the horrors of stepping on them was necessary to prevent it? 126.96.36.199 14:54, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
How about a phrase origins section? Looks to be the title of a 16th century play. Unless anyone posts opposition I will work on sorting this out. 188.8.131.52 22:57, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
Shaving/cutting hair makes it grow thicker than before While stabilised hair should not have much impact, the usual thin hair all over the skin has. Shaving that hardly visible hair can make it thicker or darker, more visible anyhow. At least i know one woman who told me she tries in her 14yr histeria to shave top of breasts - and later had great regret on this. Perdon my poor English.
What if you get some in your eyes?--Kawachan 17:19, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Why does it say "Of course, watching television too much or too close up will damage the eyes"? This could very well be an Old wives' tale in itself:
'Dr. Lee Duffner, spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, responds in his professional opinion: "Hogwash. You won't cause any physical damage to your eyes."'
Toward the end of the article, there seems to be little difference between these tales and general superstition. How would you define the difference? I looked at the article on superstition, and it seems as if the difference might be that the consequence in superstition is just generally "bad luck" or "good luck," while old wives' tales have more specific consequences. What do the rest of you think?Lawikitejana 22:47, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Surely this one is very famous? Anyone got any information on it?
I found This new scientist link in favor --Reverieuk 00:30, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
I believe the "wife" in "old wives' tale" doesn't refer to "wife" as we know it, but to the Old English term for a woman. Hence, old women's tales.
Same as "housewife." She's not married to a house, she's a woman who is associated with the house.
So "alewife" for a woman bartender or "farm wife" for a female farmer.
Maybe also "man and wife" although I don't vouch for it.Hypostasis 00:43, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
There's an old tale if you go outside in cold weather with wet hair you'll catch a cold. I don't know for sure if it's true or not because wouldn't the water absorb heat? Cold weather alone is enough to give you a runny nose.
Wording of "never jump up and down it will give u a rash to be energic" is so confusing... Could someone please rephrase it? JBatista 12:47, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I removed a bunch of the text of this article, due to it being unsourced. In fact, almost the entire article is unsourced, but these bits appear to be the most dubious. Note that we don't merely need sources showing that an old wives' tale is false/true, we need sources that it even exists in the first place. Please find sources for this, if anyone wants to re-add it, or for anything else you wish to add to the article:
"Watching television too much/up close will give you square eyes False
This rumor is likely told to keep children from sitting too close to a television set or watching too much. Watching television for extended periods, and/or too closely, may cause fatigue, but it won't change the natural shape of the eye.
Very old wives' tales
None of these have any basis of truth:
"The tale is believed to have originated as a misunderstanding of advice by fertility specialists not to be standing up during coitus, if one is attempting to become pregnant. While it is true that some positions encourage pregnancy, the converse idea that some positions prevent it is false."
Actually, the reasoning here seems sound, as long as the word "prevent" is changed to "discourage". If certain positions improve the chances of pregnancy over the average of all positions, then the use of positions which do not improve the chances of pregnancy over the chances of all positions should decrease the chances of pregnancy. The myth seems to lie in the belief that, if certain positions "cause" pregnancy (stronger than the actual "encourage"), than other positions "prevent" pregnancy (again, stronger than the correct "discourage"). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Editor437 (talk • contribs) 02:52, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
The entry on birth control (a redirect from contraception defines it as "prevent or reduce the likelihood of pregnancy or childbirth". If it is really true that "some positions encourage pregnancy", then some positions must make it less likely. I think the status of this one should be changed to "half-truth". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Farannan (talk • contribs) 00:18, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
"If you feel a burning in your ears, it means that somebody is talking about you. A variation on this is that if you hear a ringing in your ears, someone is thinking about you. In Pakistan, India, and former USSR countries, hiccups are a sign that you are being remembered by someone. In Japan, if you sneeze it means that somebody is talking about you behind your back. Similarly, choking mildly on food is also supposed to mean that somebody is talking about you. False."
While such beliefs might be false most of the time, there is no scientific evidence against the claim. Should remove the false at the end. -Max —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 20:45, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Could some Old Wive's Tales from maybe 100 years ago have since lost the label "Old Wive's Tales" if they have been proven scientifically true leaving us with nothing but false tales?Lots of herbs meant to cure things really work, but were once Old Wives's tales. Cramp Bark Tea relieves menustruation cramps, Rapeseed (the weed used to make Canola Oil) causes goats to act crazy when forced to eat it (the acid that causes this has been removed for human consumption, thus the name change), Devil's claw relieves Arthritis, etc.
I can't agree with the statement Old Wive's Tale's are generally false or the comparison made here on Wiki to Urban Legends. Urban Legends are almost always untrue and sensational, granted the best ones are based on some fact, making for good converstaion. Old Wive's Tales true or not are some kind of teaching anecdotes, not really tales or stories.
A much more useful discussion would be to discover what the intended purpose of an Old Wive's Tale was, this would explain why it was perpetuated. 220.127.116.11 (talk) 18:55, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Is a widely-believed but false belief automatically an old wives' tale? A very common one I think is the belief that an item must be sold at the marked price. The belief in it persists even though it is illogical - if true it would mean any dishonest person would only need to swap price tickets between cheap and expensive items. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 01:45, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
I have always heard ``If you step on a line, you'll break your mother's spine.`` and ``Don't make silly faces or it will stay like that forever.``. I was wondering if anyone knows the origins of these old wives tales. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 18:22, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
My mother always said ``Always wear clean underwear because you never know what could happen.`` and I was wondering if this counts as an old wives tale. If it does, is it true? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 15:47, 20 May 2011 (UTC) The meaning of your mothers statement is (as my grandmother put it) that heaven forbid something bad happen (like car accident or something) that required a stranger to see your underwear... You wouldn't want them to be dirty! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 01:09, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
I have added a section to the article about the oral tradition of old wives' tales. I think this section could be expanded even further. Does anyone have any opinions on this? Pilkie01 (talk) 04:41, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
|This article is the subject of an educational assignment at University of Wikipedia supported by WikiProject Wikipedia and the Wikipedia Ambassador Program during the 2011 Q3 term. Further details are available on the course page.|