According to Scientific American, the meaning of an itch, whether on the bottom of your foot or elsewhere, is “a general sensation arising from the irritation of skin cells or nerve cells associated with the skin.” Very helpful, indeed. If you want to know why you’re itching, it may be because your socks are dirty, your feet are dirty, you’re suffering from athlete’s foot, you’ve had a recent barefoot encounter with poison ivy, or perhaps you are currently in the midst of a fish spa pedicure.
If you’re wondering about the symbolic meaning of a bottom-of-the-foot itch, however, that’s where things get fun. It seems that nearly every body part has a meaning ascribed to its particular itch. Just as an itchy nose might mean company’s coming, and an itchy palm could have something to do with money, itchy feet tend to indicate travel. You know that old saying about having “itchy feet,” meaning a desire to keep moving from one place to the next, or at least to keep changing from one situation to another? This comes from a superstition that having feet that actually itch is a sign of an upcoming journey. Perhaps not too much of a stretch, as far as predictions go, since back in the day, running out of common household staples meant an all-day (or longer) journey to town in the old wagon — at least, this is how it always seemed to go down in Little House on the Prairie.
Itchy foot superstitions
Auntyflo.com’s Superstition Dictionary reveals that the left and right feet actually have different meanings — if either or both are itching, it means travel, all right. An itchy right foot alone may mean that the journey will require planning, but the trip will generally tend to be a positive one, and may even be lucrative.
Left feet, on the other hand — er, foot — can be tricky. Itching around the left foot may imply a journey that isn’t too much fun — perhaps you’ll come down with one of those traveler’s ailments. Itching that is specific to the sole of the left toe may mean that you will experience losses due to the journey — whether of friends, money, time, or travel gear, the Superstition Dictionary does not say. If you set out with an itching left toe, though, keep a close eye on your wallet, don’t pack anything important in your checked luggage, and also maybe rub a little Tinactin on it just to cover all the bases.
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