Colours Perspective

The Meaning of Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue

Everyone at some point has heard of the rhyme that derived from English folklore:

“Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue,
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.”

The rhyme can date back to 1871 in the short story “Marriage Superstitions, and the Miseries of a Bride Elect” from St James’ Magazine. Since then the poem pops up in popular culture when a bride is preparing to be married. The meaning of the quote can be broken down to this:

Something old was to ward off evil spirits and protect future children. It represents continuity. This is a chance for couples to wear something of sentimental value like an old pocket watch, pearl earrings or an old silk scarf. This is usually when the bride might get an old family heirloom before the ceremony.

Something new was to represent optimism for the future and open a new chapter in life. It was to welcome new horizons for the couple. This can be something that can be included in a wedding dress, veil, jewelry or shoes.

Something borrowed was an undergarment or something if sentimental value from a woman who already had children. This was the luck charm for the newly married. By borrowing something from a happily married friend or relative, the bride can ensure good fortune to transfer to them.

Something blue was usually a garter. It was to ward off the Evil Eye. It also represents love, purity, and fidelity a key quality to a good marriage. The blue is usually incorporated as a garter belt but it can be in the bouquet, a ribbon, a pair of true blue pumps or nail polish.

A sixpence for your shoe was meant to represent prosperity. It’s not a used line from the rhyme but it can still be incorporated into the celebration. A sixpence was a form of British currency worth 1/40 of a penny until it was considered obsolete in 1971. Brides use to give the groom a sixpence as a part of the dowery in the 17th century. Some people use to wear a sixpence in their left shoe. The coin or a replica might be available in a costume shop, wedding theme store, Amazon or currency exchange shop.

This was based on an old Victorian rhyme from the 1876 Lancashire newspaper reporting on what a bride wore for her wedding day. Some people wear up to something blue while some brides aim for all five points in the poem. It was just to add something to the wedding day just for fun but mostly for good luck.


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