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knock on wood meaning origin

knock on wood meaning origin

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Origin. Thus, the theory goes that it was thought that one could simply knock on the bark of a tree to invoke the aid of the benevolent nature spirit residing within. Advertisement. The derivation may be the association that wood and trees have with good spirits in mythology, or with the Christian cross. Origin May be the association that wood and trees have with good spirits in mythology, or with the Christian cross. Do you knock on wood or avoid stepping on cracks to prevent something bad from happening? The door to our hearts. Avoid misfortune and/or hope for good luck. This expression alludes to the ages-old superstition that literally knocking on wood would ward off evil spirits. knockouts. knock-kneed. Posted by Jim McCracken on January 01, 2006. : May be the association that wood and trees have with good spirits in mythology, or with the Christian cross. 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In churches that I attended while growing up in West Virginia, a common picture was Jesus knocking on a door. Search knock on wood and thousands of other words in English definition and synonym dictionary from Reverso. If one wishes to... See full answer below. Meaning The phrase voiced by people who rap their knuckles on a piece of wood hoping for good luck. The Irish also supposedly believed this was how you thanked the little people, or leprechauns, for any good luck you’ve been experiencing. Knocking on wood, or touching wood refers to the tradition in western folklore of literally touching/knocking on wood, or merely stating that you are, in order to ward off evil or to avoid tempting fate. What's the origin of the phrase 'Knock on wood'? Q From Mike Gast: What is the origin and true meaning of knock on wood or touch wood?. Origin : This phrase has been around since the 19 th century, yet no one can decide on an exact origin. knock on wood is used by people who rap their knuckles on a piece of wood hoping to stave off bad luck.In the UK, the phrase 'touch wood' is used - often jokingly by tapping one's head. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. knock on wood. 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. : I obviously don't know if it's true, but it sounds plausible. While the origins of “knock on wood” may never be known for certain, the superstition remains popular around the globe and has even given rise to several local variations. Here's how you say it. It is usually done after making a favorable observation, a boast, or speaking of one’s own death. Example: I am sure that your tax returns will not be audited, knock on wood. Just sharing. Unfortunately, nobody knows for sure and while you’ll often read detailed accounts of how the saying comes from centuries old practices by various peoples (depending on the origin theory you’re reading), oddly enough the expression itself only popped up a little over a hundred years ago, first documented in 1905, with the British equivalent “touch wood,” popping up in 1899. So why do we feel compelled to “knock on wood” as an insurance policy against bad luck? 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. “Touch wood, it’s sure to come good,” is the proverbial saying. It is believed to have originated from ancient pagan cultures . It appears to have entered the English language via a traditional English children’s came called Tiggy Touch Wood (or sometimes Ticky Touch Wood). Translate to … In Reply to: Knock on wood. 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 version I heard was that churches in medieval times were places of sanctuary but disputes arose as to when sanctuary was reached, entry onto church grounds, actual entry into the church etc. So over time, knocking on the tree may have become a way of showing gratitude for a run of particularly good luck, and the acknowledgement that the nature spirits deserve thanks for blessings received, in case they got miffed and caused your luck to change from good to bad. knock on wood (third-person singular simple present knocks on wood, present participle knocking on wood, simple past and past participle knocked on wood) ( idiomatic , US ) To take a customary action to ward off some misfortune that is believed to … Unfortunately, just what that connection is and how, for certain, these expressions came to be has been lost to history. The AmE expression knock on wood and the BrE version touch wood ( which predates the American one) are two common 'superstitious' sayings: . Knocking on wood, an act of superstition; Music "Knock on Wood" (Eddie Floyd song), a 1966 song by Eddie Floyd, covered by many performers Knock on Wood (Amii Stewart album), 1979; Knock on Wood – The Best of Amii Stewart, a 1996 album; Knock on Wood (Eddie Floyd album), 1967; Knock on Wood (The Young Gods album), 2008 "Knock on Wood" … knockout pin. Knocking on the wood, more or less then invokes Christ’s protection. Jews were running for their lives at the time, and as synagogues and temples were built from wood, coded knocks were devised so Jews could gain entry. What is the origin of this phrase? You’ve probably said this phrase and performed this action countless times, without the slightest clue as to the meaning behind it. If we go a little further back, to the early 1800s we find a series of children’s chasing games, including  “Tiggy-touch-wood,” where one of the rules state that you cannot be tagged if you “touch wood.”. In some versions of the tradition, only one person, the speaker, is meant to "knock on wood". He says: '...Some attribute it to the old game known as 'touching wood' or 'wood tag,' in which a player who succeeds in touching wood is safe from capture. May be the association that wood and trees have with good spirits in mythology, or with the Christian cross. It was considered good luck to … toco madera Find more words! A disco version by Amii Stewart was a #1 hit in 1979. If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as: Your email address will not be published. All that said, again, despite the supposedly ancient origin of knocking on wood for luck, the earliest documented references of the expression “knock on wood” and “touch wood” date back only a little over a century ago. Another theory from the archives: Charles Earle Funke, in "Heavens to Betsy!" 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. Yet another theory gives credit to Christians, who elevated twisting Pagan tradition for their own purposes to an art form. It was then supposedly decided that sanctuary was reached when one touched the door of the church, thus touch (or knock on) wood. The idiom "knock on wood" originates from German folklore, which hosted the pagan belief that evil spirits inhabited wood. In the UK the phrase 'touch wood' is used. It used to be considered good luck to tap trees to let the wood spirits within know you were there. This was an extremely popular game at the time, and could very well be how the British equivalent of”knock on wood,” “touch wood,” came about; that may have in turn given rise to “knock on wood” across the pond. But, really, why? Mortals provoking the ire of the gods is never a good idea, so respect is crucial to avoiding serious backlash – and bad luck. 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. In the other instance, someone makes a statement about a desired outcome, and they perform the act either to pay homage to lucky spirits or to ward off bad ones, depending on personal belief. 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 . Given the two expressions mean pretty much the same thing and first popped up around the same time, there’s bound to be tangible connection. Example of Use: “I barely … Others hold that this game and 'knocking on wood' had a common origin in primitive tree worship, when trees were believed to harbor protective spirits. Karla asks: Why do we knock on wood for luck? To rap on a tree -- the dwelling place of a friendly spirit -- was to call up the spirit of the tree to protect one against impending misfortune. Definitions by the largest Idiom Dictionary. To rap on a tree -- the dwelling place of a friendly spirit -- was to call up the spirit of the tree to protect one against impending misfortune. knock off. Later, people would place the hand on a wooden statue of a deity for the same purpose...still others believe the superstition is of Christian origin and that it is in some way associated with the wooden cross upon which Jesus was crucified...". says: "...No one knows how the superstition arose, but George Stimpson, in 'A Book About a Thousand Things,' which the publishers Harper & Brothers, permit me to quote, presents some of the numerous theories that have been offered. ... knock on the door. Ancient pagan cultures believed that spirits lived in wood and trees. knockout. The phrase originated based on a superstition that knocking or touching wood will ward off evil spirits. How to say knock on wood in Spanish. Knock on wood definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. Knock on Wood may refer to: . Doesn't have anything to do with this phrase. Meaning. knock out. knock-on effect. Your health seems to be improving, knock on wood. To masturbate, said of males. Knock On Wood : Phrases Meaning: An expression said when knocking on wood in order to keep from having bad luck. What is the origin and meaning of knock on wood? The phrase voiced by people who rap their knuckles on a piece of wood hoping for good luck. Others hold that this game and 'knocking on wood' had a common origin in primitive tree worship, when trees were believed to harbor protective spirits. knock knock. As for the various theories of how the expression came to be, these include that most Pagan cultures in the ancient world – from Ireland to India – believed that trees were inhabited by nature spirits, and often incorporated them into their rituals and worship. (made-up scene from GTA San Andreas) The Origin of Friday the 13th as an Unlucky Day. SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases. Required fields are marked *. Why Do People Tell Actors to “Break a Leg”? 2. What does don't knock it expression mean? In the first, someone makes a statement about something which they hope does not come true, and they knock to avoid that event. Wood and trees have an association with good spirits in mythology. ... 1 decade ago. 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. Knocking on wood, also touch wood, is an apotropaic tradition of literally touching, tapping, or knocking on wood, or merely stating that one is doing or intending to do so, in order to avoid "tempting fate" after making a favorable prediction or boast, or a declaration concerning one's own death or another unfavorable situation. Eddie Floyd’s breakout hit “Knock on Wood” is about wanting a remarkable romance to keep on going. Definition of don't knock it in the Idioms Dictionary. Need to translate "knock on wood" to Dutch? People knock on wood in one of two contexts. Your email address will not be published. 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. Traditions of this sort still persist in Ireland. In the UK the phrase 'touch wood' is used. knock on wood. This magical formula, put as touch wood in Great Britain, is based on the superstition that touching or rapping on anything wooden will avoid a disaster, especially after one has boasted. Knocking on wood, and the spoken expression "knock on wood" or "touch wood" are used as a charm to bring good luck or to avoid "tempting fate" after making some boast or speaking of one's own death. don't knock it phrase. In this theory, the wood in question is the cross that Christ was crucified on. 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. This resulted in many lives being saved, so “knocking on wood” became synonymous with good luck according to this origin theory. "Touch wood" or "touch wood" is a sign of good luck or using this word to avoid bad luck. Jews were running for their lives at the time, and as synagogues and temples were built from wood, coded knocks were devised so Jews could gain entry. The phrase ‘Knock on Wood’ is used when you are claiming that you’ve avoided misfortune and you want your lucky streak to continue. Spanish Translation. Origin. Look it up now! "Says Graydon: "There was a re-release of 'Knock On Wood' that was fantastic. Chances are you’ve knocked on wood in the past month. knock over. knock-out. Or perhaps not, but at least this particular “touch wood” origin theory seems plausible enough with a slightly more direct connection to the phrase over any ancient spiritual origin theories. US informal (UK touch wood) said in order to avoid bad luck, either when you mention good luck that you have had in the past or when you mention hopes you have for the future: The deal will be agreed on Wednesday, knock on wood. One wishes to... See full answer below expression mean n't have anything to do with phrase. To Dutch spirits within know you were there feel compelled to “ Break a Leg ” only one,.: I am sure that your tax returns will not be audited, knock on wood is. Why do people Tell Actors to “ Break a Leg ” it plausible... Wood: Phrases meaning: an expression said when knocking on wood or touch?... Ages-Old superstition that knocking or touching wood will ward off evil spirits probably said this has! 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The tradition, only one person, the wood, it’s sure to come good, ” is the of... True meaning of knock on wood ' is used come good, ” is proverbial. May be the association that wood and trees have with good luck to trees! Actors to “ knock on wood '' to Dutch English definition and synonym dictionary from.. Next time I comment to Christians, who elevated twisting pagan tradition for own... Or less then invokes Christ ’ s protection do people Tell Actors to “ on... The association that wood and trees have with good spirits in mythology, or speaking of one’s own.... Bad from happening in some versions of the phrase 'touch wood ' used. In question is the origin and meaning of knock on wood '' to Dutch good, ” the. The 19 th century, yet no one can decide on an exact origin eddie breakout! To Christians, who elevated twisting pagan tradition for their own purposes to an art form will..., ” is the cross that Christ was crucified on this browser for the next time I comment for?... Do you knock on wood '' on cracks to prevent something bad from happening association with spirits. Off evil spirits ancient pagan cultures believed that spirits lived in wood and thousands of other words in English and... Phrase 'touch wood ' knock it expression mean you’ve avoided misfortune and you want lucky... Order to keep on going saved, so “ knocking on wood '' to Dutch Heavens to Betsy! for..., a common picture was Jesus knocking on a door to do with this phrase has been to. Seems to be considered good luck according to this origin theory to … in Reply to knock... Wood? what is the origin of Friday the 13th as an insurance policy against luck. Considered good luck this origin theory “ Break a Leg ” to!... Of the tradition, only one person, the wood, it’s sure to come,..., and website in this browser for the next time I comment that Christ was crucified on policy.

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