RAMSEY HARBOUR - WORKING BOATS AT REST
So can you see the longtail? Think it might help to enlarge the image? Afraid not! Why is that then Babooshka? It's because there are no longtails in the image. They are probably scurrying under foot and over the bridge, following the Pied Piper! You think Babooshka has her fairy tales mixed up don't you? Well not if you live on the Isle of Man!
Longtails are better known as Rats. One of the first things you learn when you move here is do not say the word Rat or Rats out loud. There are other words, but this is today's mad one.
Straight from Wiki. Read on.
On the Isle of Man, longtail is a euphemism to describe a rat, as a relatively modern superstition has arisen that it is considered bad luck to mention this word. The origins of this superstition date to sea-taboos, where certain words and practices were not allowed to be mentioned aboard ship, for fear of attracting bad luck (or worse, bad weather).
Although this particular sea-taboo was one amongst many and didn't apply on land, it has become a popular modern myth that the word is somehow "unlucky" and has been adopted by some as a typical Manx practice, despite the fact that the old Manx had no qualms in using the word, or its Manx gaelic version "roddan". In modern times, even non-local and non-superstitious people will refrain from using the "r" word in an effort to fit in with those who take it seriously, or may adopt the superstition in an attempt to become more "folksy".Local, and socially acceptable alternatives for the superstitious also include joey, ringie, queerfella, iron fella and roddan (a Manx word).
Until I moved to the island I used to say the R. word. Not anymore. I have seen 3 since I moved here( which I have called all Basil!) but none when I lived on mainland Great Britain. Newcomers to the island can often be found laughing at the cheeky squirrel they nickname stumpy as they think it's lost it's tail. Not so. We have no squirrels on the island, just cheeky longtails.
Is there anything in your town that you can't say due to superstition?