Cover Photo: illustration of a mother and son, both masked, walking through fog around pillars on a city street
Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult

Say “Bread and Butter” and Stick Together

If a pair, walking together, is forced to pass on opposite sides of some obstacle, they should say “bread and butter” or risk a permanent separation.

This is A Modern Guide to Superstition, a column by Dorothy Bendel on folk belief and ritual in chaotic times.



That’s sad news

Say it

excessive worry

What if

What ifWhat if

The Encyclopedia of Superstitions

Dorothy Bendel's writing has appeared in The Threepenny Review, The Believer, Literary Hub, Catapult, The New York Times, and additional publications. Find her at or @DorothyBendel.