"If your left palm itches, it means you will soon receive money; if your right palm
itches, it means that you will lose or have to pay money.
If your left palm itches, scratch it on wood and you will be sure to receive
money; if your right palm itches, do not scratch it at all, because then you will
This superstition seems to have the most variations, some of which are complete
opposites of others. The ones I've listed above seem to be the most prevalent, as
well as holding true time and again for my mother (I think it must be a psychic
impression, rather than a superstition, in her case).
Some other variations of the "itchy palm" superstition include:
* Itchy hands = right to receive and left to leave (fortune and luck), rub on wood
and it's sure to be good, rub on brass and it will come fast. ("Silly Superstitions",
* If the palm of your right hand is itchy, then it foretells that money is coming to
you, but DON'T scratch it as that stops the money from coming! If it's your left
palm that is itchy, then scratch away, as that means that you'll soon be paying out
money for something! ("Superstitions",
* If your left hand itches, you're going to be rich. If your right hand itches, you're
going to be poor. ("Silly Superstitions",
* If your palm itches, you will receive money, and if the back of your hand itches
you will lose money. ("Silly Superstitions",
* If your palm itches, you will soon receive money. If you itch it, your money will
never come. ("Superstitions", http://halloween-website.com/superstitions.htm)
According to the old time radio presentation, The Origin of Popular Superstition,
"Episode #33: Itching Palm" (from 1935), this belief originated with the Saxons,
who felt that rubbing diseased skin with silver would cure it.
It seems possible to me that this superstition is at least loosely related to the
Celtic belief that touching wood would invoke good fortune (see above). This is
due to the reference to rubbing the itching hand on wood, scratching it, and other
Having an "itching palm" is an idiom for greed, or the desire for money." This is a direct quote from the source below. Enjoy.