Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



North, Isabella. "Blind Luck: A Narrative Exploration of French Sayings and Superstitions." Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska - Lincoln. 5 Mar. 2023.


Copyright Isabella North 2023.


The goal of this Honors Thesis was to explore French superstitions and idioms through a fictional story. To facilitate the inclusion of a range of sayings and superstitious beliefs, the short story “Jamais Deux Sans Trois” is a borderline paranormal piece of fiction which is meant to call into question how the reader interprets the world. The story, written in French, revolves around a pair of best friends and their experiences with a series of events which may or may not be explained through the lens of superstitions, depending on which character is asked at which point in the story. Since this project is related to a French minor, it also essentially serves as practice in writing and a challenge in translation. Idioms and superstitions are sourced from textbooks and online sources, and all were confirmed with a native French speaker to ensure correct use. Grammar and word choice translations were aided using textbooks and online sources, but initially performed from memory. Once again, these decisions were discussed and edited with the help of a native French speaker and French professor. Other narrative elements of the story are, naturally, drawn from personal experiences and augmented by research. For non-French speakers, the accompanying essay provides a brief summary and context when necessary. The ultimate conclusion of this project is that superstitions, and familiar turns of phrase, might help individuals to find comfort in an unpredictable world.