A curious British tradition sees people saying “A pinch and a punch, first day of the month” on the, yes, you guessed it, first day of a month. It is one of those curious habits that Brits do not really question but leaves foreigners rather perplexed. Some people even expand the phrase by saying “White Rabbits, White Rabbits” before the phrase. Others respond by saying “A slap and a kick for being so quick” or the more common West country derived phrase “a flick and a kick for being so quick”.
Many believe this superstition is carried out to bring good luck if said before midday.
There are some elaborate theories regarding this strange habit. Some credit it to President George Washington in the United States who met local Indian tribes on the first day of every month. He provided a fruit punch with a pinch of salt at these meetings. This is unlikely considering the superstition has been recognised as a British and Australian habit for longer.
Others say it goes much further back into our past, to medieval times. Salt was believed to weaken witches so the pinch was a reference to salt and the punch was given to defeat the witch. Sounds like a feeble excuse for some aggressive misogyny.
The phrases are full of threat of violence, and are common place in play