You’ve probably said this phrase and performed this action countless times, without the slightest clue as to the meaning behind it. 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. Origin. May be the association that wood and trees have with good spirits in mythology, or with the Christian cross. 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. "Says Graydon: "There was a re-release of 'Knock On Wood' that was fantastic. knockout. 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. A disco version by Amii Stewart was a #1 hit in 1979. 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 … It appears to have entered the English language via a traditional English children’s came called Tiggy Touch Wood (or sometimes Ticky Touch Wood). 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. In some versions of the tradition, only one person, the speaker, is meant to "knock on wood". Karla asks: Why do we knock on wood for luck? It used to be considered good luck to tap trees to let the wood spirits within know you were there. Example: I am sure that your tax returns will not be audited, knock on wood. Chances are you’ve knocked on wood in the past month. 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. People knock on wood in one of two contexts. The phrase voiced by people who rap their knuckles on a piece of wood hoping for good luck. But, really, why? Yet another theory gives credit to Christians, who elevated twisting Pagan tradition for their own purposes to an art form. In the first, someone makes a statement about something which they hope does not come true, and they knock to avoid that event. Advertisement. 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. 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. Wood and trees have an association with good spirits in mythology. Meaning. 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. knock over. Example of Use: “I barely … How to say knock on wood in Spanish. knock knock. Unfortunately, just what that connection is and how, for certain, these expressions came to be has been lost to history. Origin : This phrase has been around since the 19 th century, yet no one can decide on an exact origin. To masturbate, said of males. The door to our hearts. knock on wood. Q From Mike Gast: What is the origin and true meaning of knock on wood or touch wood?. This resulted in many lives being saved, so “knocking on wood” became synonymous with good luck according to this origin theory. 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. Here's how you say it. ... knock on the door. Your health seems to be improving, knock on wood. 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. In this theory, the wood in question is the cross that Christ was crucified on. Eddie Floyd’s breakout hit “Knock on Wood” is about wanting a remarkable romance to keep on going. What is the origin and meaning of knock on wood? 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. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Definition of don't knock it in the Idioms Dictionary. 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...". SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases. Do you knock on wood or avoid stepping on cracks to prevent something bad from happening? Avoid misfortune and/or hope for good 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 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. don't knock it phrase. toco madera Find more words! Translate to … 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" … Look it up now! knock off. Ancient pagan cultures believed that spirits lived in wood and trees. Another theory from the archives: Charles Earle Funke, in "Heavens to Betsy!" 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. 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. It was then supposedly decided that sanctuary was reached when one touched the door of the church, thus touch (or 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. knock-on effect. : I obviously don't know if it's true, but it sounds plausible. The phrase originated based on a superstition that knocking or touching wood will ward off evil spirits. 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. The Origin of Friday the 13th as an Unlucky Day. 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. Origin May be the association that wood and trees have with good spirits in mythology, or with the Christian cross. Knock on Wood may refer to: . 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. In the UK the phrase 'touch wood' is used. So why do we feel compelled to “knock on wood” as an insurance policy against bad luck? knockoff. If one wishes to... See full answer below. 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. Doesn't have anything to do with this phrase. “Touch wood, it’s sure to come good,” is the proverbial saying. 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. What does don't knock it expression mean? 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. (made-up scene from GTA San Andreas) Why Do People Tell Actors to “Break a Leg”? 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. This expression alludes to the ages-old superstition that literally knocking on wood would ward off evil spirits. knockout pin. In the UK the phrase 'touch wood' is used. It is usually done after making a favorable observation, a boast, or speaking of one’s own death. 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. knock on wood. The idiom "knock on wood" originates from German folklore, which hosted the pagan belief that evil spirits inhabited wood. It was considered good luck to … 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. Traditions of this sort still persist in Ireland. The AmE expression knock on wood and the BrE version touch wood ( which predates the American one) are two common 'superstitious' sayings: . 2. 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 definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. Need to translate "knock on wood" to Dutch? It is believed to have originated from ancient pagan cultures . Origin. 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. 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. "Touch wood" or "touch wood" is a sign of good luck or using this word to avoid bad luck. 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. Definitions by the largest Idiom Dictionary. 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'? What is the origin of this phrase? 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Search knock on wood and thousands of other words in English definition and synonym dictionary from Reverso. Your email address will not be published. knock-out. knockouts. knock-kneed. Mortals provoking the ire of the gods is never a good idea, so respect is crucial to avoiding serious backlash – and bad luck. The derivation may be the association that wood and trees have with good spirits in mythology, or with the Christian cross. ... 1 decade ago. Knock On Wood : Phrases Meaning: An expression said when knocking on wood in order to keep from having bad 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 . Just sharing. 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. Meaning The phrase voiced by people who rap their knuckles on a piece of wood hoping for good luck. 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. In churches that I attended while growing up in West Virginia, a common picture was Jesus knocking on a door. 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 out. 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. 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.”. 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. Spanish Translation. In Reply 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. The Irish also supposedly believed this was how you thanked the little people, or leprechauns, for any good luck you’ve been experiencing. Required fields are marked *. Friday the 13th as an Unlucky Day an art form of one’s own death or touch! 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