Sayings & Superstitions: Serbia

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m the type of person who likes lists of random trivia on a given subjects, such as animals, the human body, outer space, etc., and so I’ve chosen to compile a list of sayings and superstitions from Serbia (AAAARGH, MOTHERLAND!!!).

Some of them are quite fun, other a bit silly, but there are still people who honestly believe them to be true (I got most of these from listening to my neighbours or family in Serbia). One thing to note is that not all sayings or superstitions are unique to Serbia, and in many cases was the common belief in many countries.

  • Hiccups are caused by people talking about you.
  • If you whistle while in someone’s house (or your own), you will attract mice and rats.
  • If you put on a t-shirt inside-out by mistake, it means that someone is missing you dearly.
  • If you put on underwear inside-out by mistake, it means you will be followed by good luck.
  • A loaf of bread must never be bottom-side up, it brings misfortune to you and those around you.
  • Leaving a bag or purse on the floor will cause you to lose all your money.
  • Sitting at a corner-seat at a table means you’ll never get married.
  • Having long fingers means you’ll have a good chance of becoming a thief or that you’ll steal something.
  • Having a unibrow means you’ll marry someone in your neighbourhood (may apply to men only).
  • If you bite your tongue or cheek by accident, your grandmother or aunt is planning to bake you a cake.
  • Having your right palm itch means you’re gonna spend money soon, while having your left palm itch means you’ll be getting money soon (or the other way around, people never seem to agree…).
  • If an owl hoots while on someone’s immediate property (e.g. while on a branch in a tree in your yard, but not while on a branch on someone’s field) it means that someone in that household will die soon after.


These are the ones I can recall at the moment. If anyone else know any Serbian sayings and superstitions, feel free to add them as comments.

Here are a few courtesy of Vesna Bojanic (thank you!):

  • When driving past a cat at night, you need to spit.
  • If you have a slice of bread, you must finish it or you will be poor in life
  • To ward off “witches” keep a knife next to your window.
  • To ward of the evil eye, sprinkle salt around the house at night.


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