Knock on wood
Kyrja: What is the origin of "knock on wood"?
Mel Goodman: In the middle ages Christian pilgrims would carry a small wooden cross with then which they would touch for luck. Later on any wood which was touched would represent the wood of the cross.
Bettencourt: From Morris Dict. of Word and Phrase Origins, several theories
In child's game of tag the one able to touch a tree is free from capture.
Biblical...wood symbolizes the cross... If you have made an exaggerated boast you are forgive if you turn your thoughts to the cross.
Goes far back into ancient times (with) spirits thought to live in trees. If danger threatens, rap a tree to call the good spirit within.
Irish belief that knocking on wood let the leprechans know that you are thankful for good luck.
Jewish version: Spanish Inquisition under Torquemada (c1490). Jews in flight knocked on synagogues ddoors with code for entry. Thus lives were saved by knocking on wood. Hence, good luck.
Take your pick, but be sure to knock on wood so you pick the right one.
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