Which of these Irish Mammy Myths fooled you growing up?

By Katy Thornton

March 16, 2023 at 12:14pm


So carrots don't help your vision??

Not gonna lie, I was still believing one too many of these myths well into my twenties. After learning about Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny (only cool kids never bought this one) you'd think I'd have learnt to not trust every single thing my parents told me. But alas, I was still thinking that wet hair gave you pneumonia until at least the age of 21. One4All teamed up with Lottie Ryan to uncover more Irish Mammy Myths; be prepared to look at your mam at little differently after this.

Mammy Myth 1: Eating carrots helps your vision

This was one of the most common myths people were told by their Irish mammy. As someone who could really take or leave a carrot, I was disturbed to learn that they do not in fact help you see in the dark. It was easy to believe this one seeing as I have 20/20 vision, and carrots often being the vegetable of choice on my dinner plate (what can I say, it all seemed to add up), but they do not in fact help your sight. This myth allegedly came about during WWII, as a way to deflect the Nazis from the real reason they were able to pinpoint their attacks. While carrots don't actually help you see in the dark, because they contain Vitamin A, they are good for your eyes, so mammy wasn't totally wrong on this one.

Mammy Myth 2: Going to bed with wet hair gives you pneumonia

I never questioned this one for a second. It's only in very recent years (cough, months) that I've experimented with wearing my hair wet to bed, but only in an emergency (old habits die hard). According to the One4All survey, this was another of the most common myths people believed. It won't give you pneumonia, but sleeping with wet hair can be bad for it, causing it to break and tangle as you sleep. So maybe try give it a quick blow dry before turning in at night.


Mammy Myth 3: Watching too much television gives you square eyes

Having never met a person who had "square eyes" I tested the limits with this one. Although where once upon a time I thought I'd be a cool future mother who's let their kids watch as much TV as they wanted, I'm coming to understand I may be one of those who only allows it for an hour a night (and don't get me started on my future fears for the internet, but that's a story for another time). Moral of the story is Irish Mammies need a better myth if they want their kids away from the television.

Mammy Myth 4: If you pick a dandelion, you'll wet the bed

30% of people believed this one (I'm in the 70% who either never heard it, or had their wits about them). I can only assume it's to stop children from wrecking people's gardens (maybe someone should've said this to me in that case because I was a divil for picking flowers).

Mammy Myth 5: If you eat an apple seed, it grows in your stomach


I don't believe for a second only 23% people believed this (it's okay to admit it guys, there's no shame in it). The 'science' just backed it up way too much in my eyes. Lottie Ryan also told One4All she believed that swallowing chewing gum would make your insides stick together, which also just makes sense. To this day I never swallow chewing gum.

Mammy Myth 6: Eating the crusts on bread turns your hair curly

I'm unsure what the mothers of the 19% of you that said they heard this one were trying to achieve but there you have it. As a big fan of crusts, I never needed much convincing.


If you've only just discovered that some of these aren't true, don't feel too embarrassed. The survey revealed that 65% of people believed these myths well into their adult life; 74% now tell their own children the same tall tales.


Header image via IMDb


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