Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Small Wrists = Number of Children

My life in appalachia small wrists

Grasp your wrist-seeing if you can touch your thumb and middle finger together. Move your hand up slightly towards your elbow and see if you can still touch your middle finger and your thumb together. Ever how many times you can completely surround your wrist (or a friend’s wrist) with your finger and thumb equals how many children the person will have. At least that’s what I learned as a child.

Holding onto Chitter’s small wrist reminded me of this old piece of folklore from my childhood. Wondering if girls were still grasping each others wrists in anticipation of their future children I asked around to see-seems this bit of folklore is still alive and well in my part of Appalachia. How about where you live?


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    September 18, 2013 at 7:23 pm


  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    i have seven circles, but zero children, sorry.
    my mother spent most of her childhood trying to kiss her elbow for that very reason!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I heard it growing up in Georgia. I have tiny wrists and can circle them multiple times, but no kids…yet.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I always felt sorry for you gals
    with them little ole ‘baccer stick’
    Hey Jane…I musta kissed my elbows!
    But right now, I need more coffee.

  • Reply
    Gina S
    September 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

    My paternal great-grandmothers must have had matchstick wrists and arms for both of them birthed and raised thirteen children. I’ve always felt a connection to Minerva Emmeline, who was the mother of my paternal grandfather. She and I share a birthday separated by 101 years. Although I cannot circle my wrist, I have two children.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I have never heard that one! I’m kinda glad I didn’t do that test when I was a teenager, as it might have scared me to death. You could have circled my arm all the way up to my shoulder. I blame my current wrist and arm size on having children. They can take responsibility for the gray hairs, too.
    I love it when I hear someone besides my family use the words ‘ever how’ the same way I do.

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    September 18, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Interesting! Haven’t heard that one. This one my grandmother told me when I was a little girl.(more on the humorous side) If you kiss your elbow you’ll turn into a boy. ha,ha

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 18, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Oh my gosh, my children aren’t mine! I mean I didn’e bare them, I mean I must not of had them. I mean I am so confused! Are you sure this is true! I can’t even get my thumb and middle finger to touch at all!
    Tell me this is a belated April’s Fool Joke!! According to the lore I was supposed to touch my finger and thumb twice! Help!
    Wait just a minute! Let me ponder over this! I am 72…So I hope, guess, suppose, wonder, if that means I’m one, too old. Two, I have short fingers and thumbs or three, I have fat wrists??
    Whew, that explains it!!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…My Mother’s wrists were so thin, now then, I wonder if I have siblings out there somewhere?

  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 7:37 am

    I have not heard about that folklore, but I find it interesting. I also liked Chitter’s gold nail polish.

  • Reply
    Jeanna M
    September 18, 2013 at 7:26 am

    I have never been able to touch my fingers together and I had two children. My dd is the same and she wants 4 or 5 kids. So this is one folk saying I don ‘t believe. Still love your blog. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 18, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Never heard that one, but mine circles and I can move it up about halfway to my elbow. I have 3

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