Salt salt malt malt bad luck stay away

jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
Without thinking about what he was doing, Andy pinched some of it between the thumb and first finger of his left hand and tossed it back over his shoulder, muttering under his breath, as both his father and his Granther had done before him, ‘Salt salt malt malt bad luck stay away.’
Source: Firestarter by Stephen King

What does malt refer to when you dispel bad luck saying: salt salt malt malt bad luck stay away.

Glossary:
malt: grain prepared by boiling and drying, used in brewing beer.

Thank you.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    What does malt refer to when you dispel bad luck saying: salt salt malt malt bad luck stay away.

    Glossary:
    malt: grain prepared by boiling and drying, used in brewing beer.
    I imagine that's exactly what it refers to. It's clearly a nonsense rhyme.

    I've never heard it before today, incidentally:).
     

    Archilochus

    Senior Member
    American English
    It might be a regionalism (Maine). What's important here is the throwing of the salt over the shoulder. Knocking over a salt shaker was once (still?) considered bad luck. You defeated this my throwing some of the spilled salt over your shoulder. The rhyme is just part of the ritual.
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I've never heard it before today
    :thumbsup:

    We do have the superstition of throwing spilled salt over your shoulder to ward off bad luck, but I don't know anyone who actually does that any more.

    A variety of methods are used to avert the evil omen of spilt salt. The most common contemporary belief requires you to toss a pinch of the spilt salt over your left shoulder
    , into the face of the Devil who lurks there.
    Spilling salt - Wikipedia
     
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