If you haven’t guessed it yet, I love researching stuff, especially old sayings and such. The “Learn Something New Every Day” website states that the above saying has several origins.
The first comes from the Christian nations, where the ladder represented the holy trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit. This is because the ladder forms a sacred triangle, whether free-standing or leaning against a wall, and to walk through this triangle is to “break” the trinity… to commit blasphemy. So, you walk under a ladder, you’re in league with the devil.
Another theory suggests that a ladder was associated with the gallows, a raised platform to facilitate public hangings. Naturally, anything related to that would have the bad luck stigma attached.
Ryan, who writes the LSNED website, has his own theory about ladders. He says his theory is that when you walk under a ladder, especially with somebody working above, you would be significantly increasing the odds of having something fall on you. I think this one is more logical.
My own theory comes from a different source….MS. My theory is that those of us with MS should not walk under ladders because we will probably trip over one of the legs or fall into the ladder and hurt ourselves. Simple!
Long before I was diagnosed with MS, I was walking into walls, bumping cabinets, tripping and falling. MS and graceful do NOT equal each other! It seemed that no matter how far away I walked from something, I still would eventually bump into it. My gait was so awkward and tended to go in a zigzag pattern. I say “was”, but it pertains to “is” also.
Many MSers have what is called foot drop. They are not able to properly lift the toes of one or both of their feet in order to have a solid step. This causes their foot/feet to drag and makes them stumble and often fall.
Although a lot of us don’t have foot drop, we do have very unsteady legs. When I get fatigued, I don’t pick my feet up properly and trip myself on the floor. Sometimes my legs are so weak I drag along and stumble.
Often I find that my legs just won’t hold me up. When I try to stand or walk, they buckle and cause me to fall.
Most of us with MS fight a daily battle with fatigue. It is the most common symptom of MS and the one that seems to be the hardest to find help with. Although there are several medications on the market that say they help with fatigue, I have not been able to take them or they did not work for me.
Since I try to be as smart as I can with my MS problems, I will stay away from walking under ladders………..or across bridges……or jumping on trampolines……….or walking down steps……or walking UP steps…….or about a million and three other things!!!