Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms.


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Pins are used in many spells, especially those of negative magic. The old saying, "See a pin and pick it up; all the day you'll have good luck," intimates that by picking up the pin, you will save it from being picked up by a magician who might use it in a negative spell. One of the best-known spells is to stick a candle or a poppet with pins in order to cause harm to the person represented by that candle or poppet (see sympathetic magic). Similarly, to bring ill luck to someone, a lemon may be stuck with black-headed pins, then sent to an unfortunate recipient. When that person touches the pins, the ill luck is transferred to him or her.

On the positive side, together with needles, nails, screws, broken glass, and other sharp objects, pins may be placed in a bottle filled with urine as a protection from evil (see witch bottle).

An old British tradition says that if a girl has been betrayed, she can get revenge by throwing twelve pins into the fire at midnight as she chants the name of her ex-lover. To remove a wart, one pricks the wart with a pin that has first been stuck into an ash tree. After sticking the wart, the pin is returned to the tree. For card players, if someone sticks a pin in a player's lapel, it will bring him luck.

References in classic literature ?
Then he was very angry, and went without his supper to bed; but when he laid his head on the pillow, the pin ran into his cheek: at this he became quite furious, and, jumping up, would have run out of the house; but when he came to the door, the millstone fell down on his head, and killed him on the spot.
Set two pins for 25 and 35 yards or three for 20, 30, and 40 yards.
These include split cotter pins, precision dowel pins, groove pins, spring tension pins, spiral pins (coiled spring pins) and taper pins.
Although expensive, these highly compliant pins are used to connect batteries to docking stations, antennas to PCBs, for rugged, high-shock and vibration applications, or to compensate for floating heights and uneven mating surfaces.
Available in 3- and 5-pin models, with either a direct mount or carbon-fiber dovetail, the Accutouch sights feature Accu-Stat scope technology with an adjustable rheostat sight ring that allows shooters to customize the brightness of their fiber optic pins, which are available in green, blue, yellow and red in either .
A customer brought in a Philippine-produced 1911 with a firing pin stop that had fallen, ditching the firing pin and spring.
Rose Rolling Pin, PS10, Cath Kidston Form and function - this is the prettiest pin we've seen.
Splayed pin fins and hybrid pin fins both possess the round pins associated with the standard pin fin heat sink.
Call your promotion "Pinning Their Hopes" and ask customers to trade in their old rolling pins and bakeware for new equipment.
For this "Dart Tip" system, Hasco placed the Z1081 magnetic needle drive behind precision-guided, round ejector plates, each operating four valve pins.