A good day for trimming your nails
U 13.117-19: She had cut it that very morning on account of the new moon and it nestled about her pretty head in a profusion of luxuriant clusters and pared her nails too, Thursday for wealth.
Gerty MacDowell pared her nails, thinking of a rhyme which includes the line ‘Thursday for wealth’. Weldon Thornton (Allusions in Ulysses, 1982) recognizes the rhyme, but only knows it as a popular superstition relating to marriage:
The Journal of American Folklore for 1918 (p. 207) has the marriage rhyme from Illinois:
But in this version Tuesday is for wealth, and the end of the week isn’t recommended for weddings. Several pages on (p. 211), one of the contributors of this marriage rhyme (‘of English descent’) also knows another one, this time about the best days for paring your nails. And it’s a version of this rhyme that Gerty MacDowell knows:
Just the sort of rhyme to do the rounds of the popular magazines Joyce was soon to be scouring for Nausicaa.
Joyce's Allusions >