from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Same as chain-snake.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
We used to walk tiptoe before a festival, in case we should speak ill-omened words, or frighten the house-snake, or tell an unlucky dream.
It was the rats, and from the rattling sound above I judged that the house-snake was pursuing them.
Its special locality was, for the reason just noticed, the marriage-bed and its symbol, the house-snake, kept as a revered inmate and cherished in the feeling that evil happening to it meant misfortune to the master.
To this day there are numerous traces in popular belief, especially in Germany, of respect for the snake, which seems to be a survival of ancestor worship, such as still exists among the Zulus and other savage tribes; the "house-snake," as it is called, cares for the cows and the children, and its appearance is an omen of death, and the life of a pair of house-snakes is often held to be bound up with that of the master and mistress themselves.