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A handful of beliefs centre on the act of sweeping, in addition to those connected with the broom itself. Sweeping dust out of the house is ill-advised: ‘A Lincolnshire maidservant explained to me some years ago that it was wrong “to sweep out at the door, for fear of sweeping luck away”’(N&Q 9s:6 (1900), 393). On a different tack: ‘In Suffolk, the people say that if after sweeping a room the broom is accidentally left up in a corner, strangers will visit the house in the course of that day’ (Dyer, 1881: 126).

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