TSGS Cruiser Blog

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Someone walked on your grave!"

The other day for lunch, Becky and I were drinking some cold unsweetened ice tea when suddenly I got a very cold chill.  Becky said, "Someone walked on your grave!"  I thought to myself that if I got a cold chill from someone walking on my grave, Becky should have gotten one, also, since we have our grave lots together.  And just then Becky said, "Oh, my!  I got a cold chill, too!"  Now, that gave me goose bumps.  We both laughed about the whole thing.  I have heard people say that goose bumps were caused by a goose crossing your grave. 

We wondered how these old sayings came about.  So, I got on the computer and "Googled" the saying and this is what I found.  This phrase comes from old folk stories that a sudden cold chill or shiver was created by someone walking over the grave where one would end up buried... the saying most likely from the Middle Ages.  Several bulletin board sites said that it comes from ancient times when families purchased burial plots for their family before they had died. Someone walking over your grave showed disrespect, and walking over a person's grave who has not yet deceased, meant you wished them ill.

From Gary Martin's web site http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/someone-is-walking-over-my-grave.html, I found this ~

"The earliest known record of the phrase in print, which is, of course, an indication of the earliest date that we can prove that the phrase was in public use, is in Simon Wagstaff's A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation, 1738. (Simon Wagstaff was one of the many pseudonyms of the celebrated writer Jonathan Swift):  'Miss [shuddering]. Lord! there's somebody walking over my Grave.' "  He mentioned that goose bumps were caused by a goose crossing your grave!

An interesting story was given by someone as a response to how this saying came about and what it meant:
"This does not actually answer the question, but about a year ago I heard that my ex-girlfriend's father had died, but the person I heard it from wasn't too reliable a source. So, I thought I would go to the cemetery where I knew her mother had been buried a few years before and see if the headstone had been altered. Whilst I was looking for the family plot, I saw out of the corner of my eye a recent grave with a brand new headstone that had my name on it!!!! Ridiculous as it sounds, I did think for the briefest second that I really had died and was looking at my own grave. It was a very unpleasant feeling."

Now, this story would cause me "goose bumps!"

- Compiled by Indiana Bones as told by JGWest.

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