As with many superstitions, there is also a Christian explanation: that the wood represents the Cross, so when you touch or knock on wood, you are asking God to help your luck. Here’s one origin story: Knocking on wood is thought to come from the folklore of the ancient Indo-Europeans, or possibly people who predated them, who believed that trees were home to various spirits. Knock on wood or knocking on wood is a gesture made to prevent ill fortune or reverse action. Do you knock on wood or avoid stepping on cracks to prevent something bad from happening? Others believe the phrase originated in Ireland. Why We Knock on Wood. Origin May be the association that wood and trees have with good spirits in mythology, or with the Christian cross. The first recorded evidence of people saying “Touch wood” (the British version of “Knock on wood”) comes from the 1800s. However, the practice is much older than that, and there are a few conflicting origin stories as to where it came from. Here is the entry for "knock on wood" in Robert Hendrickson, The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, fourth edition (2008): knock on wood. He would throw salt over his shoulder and knock on wood just for good luck, I didn't learn this until I lived with him. Likewise people say it after an expression or exultation of some kind. Example: I am sure that your tax returns will not be audited, knock on wood. Knocking on the wood, more or less then invokes Christ’s protection. Chances are you’ve knocked on wood in the past month. The exact origin of the phrase "knock on wood" is unknown, however many speculate that is could have come from rituals in early times where trees were considered sacred spirits. Origin : This phrase has been around since the 19 th century, yet no one can decide on an exact origin. But, really, why? To knock on wood was to alert leprechauns that you were thanking them for giving you good luck. Q From Mike Gast: What is the origin and true meaning of knock on wood or touch wood?. Example of Use: “I barely avoided being involved in that 20 car pileup, knock on wood!” The phrase ‘Knock on Wood’ is used when you are claiming that you’ve avoided misfortune and you want your lucky streak to continue. Knock-on definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. People would knock on wood to beseech friendly spirits for help or to thank them for their assistance. Look it up now! A disco version by Amii Stewart was a #1 hit in 1979. Origin. Knock on Wood: Luck, Chance, and the Meaning of Everything Jeffrey S Rosenthal. Knocking on wood is a superstition that started way back in the 19th century. Origin: One theory is that it originated in the middle ages when there were in circulation, pieces of the Holy Rood or Cross on which Jesus was crucified. The exact origin of the phrase “knock on wood” is unknown, however many speculate that is could have come from rituals in early times where trees were considered sacred spirits. Look it up now! "Says Graydon: "There was a re-release of 'Knock On Wood' that was fantastic. : On the other hand people still avoid walking under ladders and knock on wood and cross their fingers in order to guard there luck. Knock on wood. There is, I’m told, an old Irish belief that you should knock on wood to let the little people know that you are thanking them for a bit of good luck. In Sweden, the phrase "ta i trä" (touch wood) is commonly used as a part of the phrase "peppar peppar, ta i trä" (pepper pepper, touch wood), the double "pepper" also being used to ward off a temptation of fate. The exact origin of the phrase "knock on wood" is unknown, however many speculate that is could have come from rituals in early times where trees were considered sacred spirits. In this theory, the wood in question is the cross that Christ was crucified on. In the UK the phrase 'touch wood' is used. "Touching wood" derives from pantheistic religions where trees, rivers etc were supposedly inhabited by spirits or deities. This dates from at least the early 17th century, when it is quoted by John Heywood in his collections of proverbs. While the origins of some of these popular superstitions seem pretty silly, many people still do them today. Meaning and Origins. The exact origin of the phrase "knock on wood" is unknown, however many speculate that is could have come from rituals in early times where trees were considered sacred spirits. Jon Gruden's catchphrase "knock on wood if you're with me" has been on display during HBO's Hard Knocks with the Oakland Raiders. The phrase voiced by people who rap their knuckles on a piece of wood hoping for good luck. Why do people knock on wood? Posted by M. E. James on August 06, 2000. It refers to the common superstitious belief, found in many cultures in the world, that you should touch wood or a tree to ward off bad luck. Learn more. For readers of Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Daniel Levitin with a twist of Bill Bryson—a lighthearted, entertaining and fateful exploration of luck in everyday life For centuries, people around the world have prayed for good luck and warded against bad. It was the only hit for Stewart, who was also a dancer and actress - she starred in the Broadway musical Bubbling Brown Sugar.The innovative arrangement of her version inspired Jay Graydon's production of The Manhattan Transfer's "The Boy From New York City. To touch a tree was to seek the spirit's blessing and/or ward off its wrath. To knock on wood was to alert leprechauns that you were thanking them for giving you good luck. The meaning and origin of the expression: Knock on wood Touch wood/knock on wood Knocking on wood, also touch wood, is an apotropaic tradition of literally touching, tapping, The origin of the custom may be in German folklore, wherein supernatural In these instances, people might knock on or touch wood to request good . And so hopefully, you know, knock on wood, we'll get to do a second season, and that will be one for next year. Why do we say knock on wood and tap wood or our heads after declaring that some calamity has never happened to us? In the UK the phrase 'touch wood' is used. A To touch wood or knock on wood is a superstitious action to ward off any evil consequences or bad luck, perhaps because of some recent action you’ve taken or untimely boasting about your good fortune (“I’ve never been in danger of drowning, touch wood”); it can also be a charm to bring good luck. knock on wood meaning: 1. said in order to avoid bad luck, either when you mention good luck that you have had in the past…. May be the association that wood and trees have with good spirits in mythology, or with the Christian cross. Let's break down the meaning and origin of wood knocking. Meaning: Knocking on wood (or touching wood, in Britain) is a superstition where people knock on a piece of wood to ward off bad luck or to hopefully gain good fortune. Do you knock on wood or avoid stepping on cracks to prevent something bad from happening? Meaning The phrase voiced by people who rap their knuckles on a piece of wood hoping for good luck. Meaning. In Reply to: Knock on wood posted by ESC on August 02, 2000: : I am most anxious to determine the basis and meaning of the expression: knock on wood and why we actually do it on expecting good luck. Touching wood also became a significant superstition within Judaism during the Spanish Inquisition. In the USA the expression used is knock on wood. Knock On Wood : Phrases Meaning: An expression said when knocking on wood in order to keep from having bad luck. The British version of the phrase - 'touch wood', predates the American 'knock on wood' and was itself preceded by a Latin version - 'absit omen', meaning 'far be that omen from us'. The origin is unknown, though some writers have pointed to pre-Christian rituals involving the spirits of sacred trees such as the oak, ash, holly or hawthorn. ‘And so hopefully, you know, knock on wood, we'll get to do a second season, and that will be one for next year.’ ‘I did have to call a moratorium on all the email I'd accumulated but I think (fingers crossed, touch wood, any other superstitious luck gatherer you can think of) that I'm just about sorted.’ The superstition is an old one and has many possible explanations, none sure. Often it is said following a boastful statement on one’s accomplishments or good fortune. Others believe the phrase originated in Ireland. The origin is unknown, though some writers have pointed to pre-Christian rituals involving the spirits of sacred trees such as the oak, ash, holly or hawthorn. in the days of wooden ships, it was a system used to 'sound' the timber for 'death watch' beetle or other signs of rot .. Scandinavians, mistakenly known as Vikings, believed that Loki (the God of mischief) resided in the wood and would answer a knock with an 'empty' sound .. thus the expression came to mean 'asking the Gods' for the 'soundness' of the timber for safe sailing or 'luck' this expression is a superstition that is used in the hope that a good thing will continue to occur even after its mentioned. Knock on wood definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. It's often shortened to just saying "peppar peppar" while knocking on wood. There is, I’m told, an old Irish belief that you should knock on wood to let the little people know that you are thanking them for a bit of good luck. There’s also a Jewish version of “knock on wood” origin that contends the practice originated in the 1490s during the Spanish Inquisition under the infamous Torquemada. 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