Purse on Ground

General information about Item:

  • Customary folklore; Superstition
  • Language: English
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Informant: Michelle Jacobs
  • Date collected: May 24, 2020

Informant data:

Michelle Jacobs is a longtime resident of the Hampton Roads area in southeastern Virginia. She is a librarian who enjoys reading books and researching the culture of the South.

Contextual data:

-Cultural context: The association is akin to throwing money on the ground.

-Social context: MJ told me this through an in-person interview. She mentioned it often came as a criticism from friends or parents.


Putting a purse on the ground while sitting is bad luck.


“One that’s not related to weddings: never put your purse on the floor. Bad luck for a woman to put her purse on the floor. So, women in the South, you’ll never see putting purses on the floor. Something bad would happen otherwise. Usually when you’re sitting down in a living room. Maybe it’s something like, um, the money; financially related; but yeah something about putting the money on the ground.”

Collector’s comments:

The word which came to mind upon hearing this description was “fear”, perhaps a fear of poverty, judgement from others, etc.

Collector’s name: Jack Jacobs


-Material folklore