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Something old

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Title: Something old  
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Subject: Traditional rhyme, Wedding customs by country, The Big Bang (Doctor Who), Wedding, Spilling water for luck
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Something old

Items chosen to bring good luck to the bride. In this case, the veil was borrowed and the handkerchief was new.

"Something old" is the first line of a traditional rhyme which details what a bride should wear at her wedding for good luck:

Something old,
something new,
something borrowed,
something blue,
and a silver sixpence in her shoe.[1]

It is often recited as the four "somethings", not including the sixpence. The rhyme appears to originate in England, an 1898 compilation of English folklore reciting that:

In this country an old couplet directs that the bride shall wear:— "Something old, something new, Something borrowed, something blue." "The something blue" takes, I am given to understand, usually the form of a garter, an article of dress which plays an important part in some wedding rites, as, for instance, in the old custom of plucking off the garter of the bride. "The something old" and " something blue" are devices to baffle the Evil Eye. The usual effect on the bride of the Evil Eye is to render her barren, and this is obviated by wearing "something borrowed", which should properly be the undergarment of some woman who has been blessed with children: the clothes communicate fertility to the bride.[2]

Another compilation of the era frames this poem as "a Lancashire version", as contrast against a Leicestershire recitation that "a bride on her wedding day should wear – 'Something new, Something blue, Something borrowed'...", and so omits the 'something old.' The authors note that this counters other regional folklore warning against the wearing of blue on the wedding day, but relates the use of the color to phrases like 'true blue' which make positive associations with the color.[3]

The rhyme can earlier be found in an 1876 edition of Notes and Queries,[4] and is called an "ancient custom" in another 1876 book, Bye-gones, Relating to Wales and the Border Counties.[5] This version is referenced as well in an 1871 short story, "Marriage Superstitions, and the Miseries of a Bride Elect", in The St. James's Magazine.[6]

Television references

The ninth episode of series two of Torchwood is entitled "Something Borrowed" in reference to the wedding occurring between the characters Gwen Cooper and Rhys Williams on the show.

In the Friends episode "The One in Vegas", Monica says to Chandler she needs 'Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue' so they can get married. They got a new, blue sweater stolen from the shop (borrowed) and Chandler's old condom. In a later episode when Phoebe gets married in the episode, "The One With Phoebe's Wedding", when Phoebe decides not to wear her coat while getting married outside in the snow, she said that "I can be my something blue", suggesting that she might go blue with coldness.

The opening act of the 22nd episode of the sixth season of Frasier is titled ″something old, something new, something borrowed, something dead″ in reference to Donny Douglas's proposal to Daphne Moon.

In the 16th episode of the second season of 3rd Third Rock from the Sun, Sally tells Harry to find her something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue for her wedding.

The final two episodes of Season 2 of How I Met Your Mother are titled "Something Borrowed" and "Something Blue" in reference to the wedding occurring between the characters Marshall and Lily on the show. The final two episodes of Season 8 of How I Met Your Mother are titled "Something Old" and "Something New" in reference to the wedding occurring between the characters Barney and Robin on the show.

In the episode titled "The Woman In White," in the series Bones, Angela Montenegro presents Dr. Brennan with a hair clip which was something old and blue. It also became the something borrowed for Dr. Brennan.

The Wedding Peach television anime revolves around the main heroines finding and using the Saint Something Four to defeat devils who try and destroy the love between happy couples. Wedding Peach possesses the Saint Something Old, Angel Salvia the Saint Something New, Angel Lily the Saint Something Blue, and Angel Daisy the Saint Something Borrowed. The four treasures originated from the marriage of angels Pistil and Etamine. Pistil wore the Something Borrowed pendant she borrowed from her dear friend, the Something New tiara that represented the couple's new and upcoming happiness, the Something Old ring that had been handed down from the generations of women in Pistil's family, and the Something Blue earrings that represent the hope of a bride, on her wedding day. The treasures covered the Angel World in the Love Wave, protecting it from invasion from the Devil World.[7]

In the episode Puppy Pause of Tuff Puppy the Weasel is wearing a wedding dress and says since he is getting married he needs "something old, somthing new, something borrowed, and something blue" to get Dudley to hand over the time-stopping gloves.

In the Doctor Who episode "The Big Bang", the Doctor connects the four elements to his TARDIS, which is "borrowed", and "brand new and ancient, and the bluest blue ever". In the same episode at Amy Pond's wedding, she recites this saying to help remember the Doctor (excluding the line "And a silver sixpence in her shoe"), who had previously been erased from time. As she finishes her speech, wind begins blowing in the hall and several seconds later the TARDIS starts materializing right in the middle of it, and the Doctor—not imaginary, but flesh and blood—steps outside into the hall.

See also


  1. ^ Ask, Yahoo! .
  2. ^  .
  3. ^  .
  4. ^ White, William (1876),  .
  5. ^ Bye-gones, Relating to Wales and the Border Counties 3, 1876, p. 136 .
  6. ^ "Marriage Superstitions, and the Miseries of a Bride Elect", The St. James's Magazine 28, 1871: 549 .
  7. ^ Wedding Peach, episode 9 (1995)
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