13 Common Superstitions in the U.S. and their origins

Hello, hello, hello. Today we’re back with a new episode. Welcome back, everyone. So glad to have you here. We’re on episode number 131, and today we’re going to be talking about superstitions.

Now, we live in a day and age that is driven by science and technology, yet people are still superstitious. According to a study I read by YouGov, 9% of Americans claim to be superstitious, while another 35% admit to not being very superstitious, but somewhat. That makes over 40% of individuals in the United States somewhat superstitious.

So what does it mean to be superstitious? According to Cambridge Dictionary, it is to have beliefs that are not based on human reason or scientific knowledge, but are connected with old ideas about magic. Many times, superstitious people believe in irrational, unproven signs of good and bad luck.

In today’s episode, we’re going to go through 13 common superstitions in the United States and their origins. By the end of this audio lesson, you’ll walk away with more knowledge about American culture and some new vocabulary and phrases. I’ll teach those as we go along.


Before we begin, I’d like to give a big shout out to Helen, Denis, Laurent, Ricardo Farias, Arg Grisha, Arturo Godoy, Robert, Ise Correia, Naixing Tan and the other contributors, who didn’t write their names, but bought me coffee. A while back I put a link in the show notes that enables listeners to support this podcast and my work through small donations. Let me just say I appreciate these contributions so much. My daughters and I go on little dates for ice cream and coffee or smoothies – obviously they don’t drink coffee – but we think about you guys as we indulge. That’s just really cool.

If you have learned something on this podcast and want to support it, that link is in the show notes. Or it’s also really helpful if you share this podcast with your friends. Posting reviews on Apple and Spotify also help out. It helps getting the word out to people that don’t know this podcast and I truly, truly appreciate it. So thank you to everyone who has supported. 

The full transcript, Mp3, transcript reader to work on pronunciation and quiz can be found in Season 3.