Jinx, Smurf – or something else? In Gothenburg, Sweden, children nowadays often shout “Smurf!” if two people happen to say the same word at the same time. The first person to say "Smurf" becomes the winner. In older folklore collections we find statements about chants that were used, and also rituals that had to be performed, for example, pressing thumbs together and then making a wish.
In our project Everyday Magic we want to document modern folklore. Previous topics for web questionnaires have documented superstitions about manhole covers as well as methods for seeing whether a pregnant woman is expecting a girl or a boy. This time we want to document variations of the tradition of “saying the same thing”, a game which has existed at least since the nineteenth century and which is played over much of Europe and the USA.
Have you ever heard that you have to say/do something specific if two people happen to say the same thing at the same time? We appreciate your help in documenting the tradition by completing and/or sharing the web questionnaire below.