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Laura F. Spira typed thus:
I was listening in the car and found myself unable to eat the mince pie offered to me when I arrived at my destination.

Send it to me - I'll eat it.

David
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Oh yes, string tails and all. They seem to have ... of sugar mice; lots of better things to do today.)

Warning: those with sensitive stomachs may wish mark this message read at this point.

The same might be said of those tempted to read my follow-up.
I heard a snatch of a Radio 4 programme one morning earlier this week - possibly Alice Thomas Ellis on ... the car and found myself unable to eat the mince pie offered to me when I arrived at my destination.

"Mummia" or "mummy" was a so-called medicine based, originally, upon human mummies, and later made out of executed criminals.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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Do they do the Tooth Fairy in the UK? (Put ... glass of water, and in the morning, it's a coin.)

Yes, in our house in the 1950s. Under the pillow.

I can confirm 1950s from direct experience.
I never gained the impression that my parents, their siblings or my grandparents regarded any of this as anything but custom with origin lost in the mists of time.
"Tooth Fairy" as a specific phrase may be a newer coinage.

oops!
Yes, in our house in the 1950s. Under the pillow.

I can confirm 1950s from direct experience.

I can confirm that is was done in the mid 1940's
"Tooth Fairy" as a specific phrase may be a newer coinage.

Maybe. It seems like we talked about the Tooth Fairy in my time but I really can't be sure. My wife says when she was losing her baby teeth in the early 1950's her family called it the Tooth Fairy.

Brian Wickham
Late 40s-early 50s, sixpence under the pillow, yes, but I'm pretty sure that in our family it was simply "the fairies" (definitely plural) without a specialised job description. In fact, now I think about it, I'm also pretty sure that it stayed that way when my son and daughter were losing teeth, in the 1970s. Until quite recently some British fairies clearly worked as a co-operative, or even as an anarcho-syndicalist collective.

Katy Jennison
spamtrap: remove the first two letters after the @
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I can confirm that is was done in the mid ... the early 1950's her family called it the Tooth Fairy.

Late 40s-early 50s, sixpence under the pillow, yes, but I'm pretty sure that in our family it was simply "the ... in the 1970s. Until quite recently some British fairies clearly worked as a co-operative, or even as an anarcho-syndicalist collective.

In the early 1940s it was a silver threepenny piece in my case. Looked very like a sixpence but smaller. Just "the fairies" as in your case.

COD10 gives no date for "tooth fairy", but MWC11 dates it to 1962.

wrmst rgrds
Robin Bignall
Hertfordshire
England
Late 40s-early 50s, sixpence under the pillow, yes, but I'm ... worked as a co-operative, or even as an anarcho-syndicalist collective.

In the early 1940s it was a silver threepenny piece in my case. Looked very like a sixpence but smaller. Just "the fairies" as in your case. COD10 gives no date for "tooth fairy", but MWC11 dates it to 1962.

Ah - the silver threepenny bits. We used to have Christmas dinner at my Auntie's and the pudding always had silver threepenny bits in it when my age was in single figures. And there always used to be one in *my* portion - what were the odds against THAT happening every year? And my Auntie used to persuade me to swap the threepenny bit for a sixpence. Which I always did and I thought she was silly to let me.
John Dean
Oxford
COD10 gives no date for "tooth fairy", but MWC11 dates it to 1962.

Several posters in this thread report the "tooth fairy" use from the 1950s. I am also among those remembering the "tooth fairy" from the 1950s. The MWCD11 editors need to take their noses out of their collection of citation slips.
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I can confirm that is was done in the mid ... the early 1950's her family called it the Tooth Fairy.

Late 40s-early 50s, sixpence under the pillow, yes, but I'm pretty sure that in our family it was simply "the ... in the 1970s. Until quite recently some British fairies clearly worked as a co-operative, or even as an anarcho-syndicalist collective.

I thought of checking the "Dictionary of Superstitions," Opie & Tatem. The earliest citation they have for "Teeth, disposing of" is:
1686 Aubrey /Remaines 1881, II/ When children shaledtheir Teeth the women use to wrap, or put salt about the tooth, and so throw it into a good fire.
Then, no citations until the 1800s, when there are six more, with various combinations of salt, fire, and, in several, concerns about dogs or pigs getting at them and a dog-like or pig-like tooth growing in its place.
In the twentieth century, there's one more salt one (1953) and one more burn-in-fire one (1973). The other two are the only two fairy-related hits:
1954 (Girl, 14, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs) Put a toothunder your pillow and a fairy will give you sixpence for it.
1987 (Boy, 8, Manchester, Lancs) You put it underyour pillow, and then you write a message, 'Dear
Tooth Fairy, would you leave my tooth?' And in the morning you find the tooth still there, and you find 20p - or 50p if you're lucky.
So this is consistent with the proposition that the fairy/Tooth Fairy idea is not very old.

Best Donna Richoux
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