Itching Palms and Other Body Parts, What Does it Mean?

Scratching Palm with Money
This photo was taken by me, Robert Tuttle, of my hands Dec. 2012

Me and a girl I work with were talking about this today. She was standing there scratching her hands and I said, “Oh, you must be coming into some money.” Funny thing is, today is payday, so there was a little truth to that. Anyway, she said, “hey, that would be a cool topic for your blog”, so I went with it.  I’ve done some research on a few of these myths and wanted to share what I’ve come up with. There are many other body parts that have associated itching myths. Some are pretty cool, some not so cool, either way the research was a lot of fun! Let’s go over just a few of the more popular ones…

The Myth of Itching Palms

There are many superstitions and myths about scratching different areas of your body. I believe the one about your palms itching says, “if your right palm is itching then you’ll be receiving some money.” Part of that myth also states that you shouldn’t scratch your palm if it’s itching or you may keep the money from coming. But on the other side of that, if your left palm is itching, that means you’ll be paying someone else some money. So you may want to scratch the heck out of that one!

Now I’ve had several occasions where my hands or palms were itching and I’ve never had any money come of it. But of course it never says how long you have to wait for your prize, maybe I just haven’t gotten it yet. But if you look at it that way, then that kind of defeats the purpose of the superstition, don’t ya think?

The Myth of Itching Feet

There is a similar superstition that has to do with your feet. They say if your feet are itching that means you can’t sit still. Others say it’s a sign that you’ll be traveling soon, or taking a great journey. It seems to have a similar meaning as the hands in relation to the left foot versus the right foot. According to legend if your right foot is itching then your journey will lead you to a place in which you’ll be welcomed. In contrast the left foot would lead you on a journey that wouldn’t have a very good ending.

It’s also said that itching feet may have something to do with sorrow. Some believe that it’s a sign you’re going to get new shoes, and breaking in those shoes may cause you some sorrow. There seems to be more confusion about the itching feet than anything, as I’ve found several different meanings. One even says that it could either be a sign someone in your family is going to die or that someone may be talking about you while your walking. Those are some pretty unrelated thoughts on the subject. I’m thinking it may have something to do with where people are in the world. As different cultures always find different meanings in stuff like this.

The Myth of Itching Ears

Here’s one most of us have probably heard of, the itching ears. One pretty cool saying I found for this was “an itching left ear is a sign of love, while an itching right ear is for spite.” Supposedly if your ears are itching, no matter which one, it means someone is talking about you. I’ve also heard it put as, if your ears are burning, then someone’s talking about you.

But I’ve researched this further to find that if your left ear is itching it means either someone you love is talking about you, or who ever is talking about you is saying something nice. Then the right ear itching is just the opposite. This means someone your feuding with is talking about you, or they’re saying something bad about you. If your right ear is itching, you should lick your finger and wipe it on your ear lobe. Then who ever is talking bad about you will bite their own tongue! Now that’s pretty cool, this one gives you a way to back fire it on who ever is talking trash.

The Myth of an Itching Nose

Now this one really has no good side to it as far as I can tell. They say if your nose is itching then that means you’re going to kiss a fool. I’ve also heard that this could be a sign you are going to get into a fight with someone. Other legends say, if your nose is itching you may be annoyed or cursed soon.

Small Child Scratching Her Nose
Photo by [David Castillo Dominici]

One extremely odd thing I’ve read about is, an itchy nose means you will come in contact with someone that has a hole in their britches. Now what in the world is this all about? These days the way all the kids are running around with those beat up blue jeans with holes all in them, you’ll be lucky if your nose ever stops itching.

I don’t really know why the nose would get such a bad rap. But that poor ole thing can’t catch a break. Every superstition I’ve found has something to do with an itchy nose being a bad thing. So I’m thinking it’s best to ignore your nose all together. Maybe keep it blown out real good and keep some lotion on it. What ever it takes to keep that dude from itching! Apparently nothing good can come of it. Personally I think if your nose is itching, then the best reaction should be to grab a tissue!

So as you can see by reading this post, you may want to pay a little closer attention to your goodies if they’re itching. You may miss out on a good thing if you’re not careful. There’s actually a ton of different superstitions for this type of thing. Pretty much a scratch for every itch. There’s a pretty cool list of The Meaning of Itches and their Omens that I found, it’s quite interesting if you wanna check it out.

I live in the United States, but I believe to some people these superstitions may be reversed. For instance the itching palm, where the right is paying money and the left is receiving. So for any of you from other countries, if you could clarify this for me that would be great. Also, if any of you have heard any other meanings for some of these or have some other superstitions that you find interesting, then share them with us by leaving a comment below. I can’t wait to check out what y’all come up with.

Oh, and by the way, if superstitions are your thing, then we’ve got a bunch of other great superstitions you may want to check out.

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273 thoughts on “Itching Palms and Other Body Parts, What Does it Mean?
  1. The one about someone is saying something good or bad about you with the left ear itching sounds about right. I have also so heard if your nose itch someone wants to see you.

  2. Hiya, my name is Shannon! I found this page very useful and I was able to learn the true meaning behind an “itchy nose” thank you

  3. Right hand is money, I’m waiting for my right hand, all the time. My nose been itching, don’t know what that mean, I read a lot it comments, waiting to see what the out come is. My left foot was itching real bad, don’t what’s coming my way. I will continue to read.

  4. My mama always said…”peaches and cream, my nose is itchin, somebodys come’in with a hole in their britches”
    The right hand means you are going to shake hands with somebody and the left hand means you are going to get money or a present.
    The right foot means you are going to step on strange ground and the left one means you are going someplace you are not wanted
    The ears burning/itching means somebody is talking about you, if you tie a knot in your shirt tail and stick a needle in it, you will give them a tooth ache.

  5. In our town here in the Philippines if your nose is itching probably someone is kissing your picture, and about the palm itching its the right to receive and left to spend and you should scratch your hand inside your pocket to avoid misfortune (money matters).

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