Knock On Wood: How This Became A Way To Ward Off Bad Luck

How did the “knock on wood” phrase start?

Knock on wood has become a superstitious belief for many people and they intend to do this to ward off bad luck.

People around the globe have different ways to attack good luck and keep themselves away as much as possible from bad luck. With this, different traditions and superstitions emerged. One of these was the gesture of knocking on wood.

Based on the article in Reader’s Digest, the term dates back in the 19th century, and its origin remains unknown. It was believed that this originated with pagan groups and cultures around the world, such as the Celts, who worshipped and mythologized the trees.

knock on wood
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They believed that the trees were the homes of their gods and that by touching the wood, you would have protection from the spirit. British folklorist Steve Roud, in his book The Lore of the Playground, suggested another theory.

The writer said that this belief came from “Tiggy Touchwood” which is a game of tag where children who touched a piece of wood were immune and given a form of protection from other players.

Although the origin is blurry, people nowadays are still doing the “knock on wood” to seek good luck in certain situations. As they say, some habits are hard to break and because you have started this habit from your childhood it would be difficult for you to take it away when you become an adult.

Another reason is that the mind people find it easier to do it than not because it is just a simple task to do. It can also be attributed to the past situation in which you think that this gesture or belief worked.

Another popular gesture that comes along with superstitious belief is fingers crossed. Some believed that this could also bring good luck.

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