Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Knock On Wood

One of the most common superstitions is when someone “knocks on wood” when they make a statement that seems to tempt fate. Such as when someone will tap or knock on wood two times to avoid a jinx when they say “it doesn’t look like it is going to rain today”. This superstition has become widespread and has become a reflex to a lot of people in which the person will knock on wood without even realizing they are doing it.

The origin of this common superstition dates back to a time when some cultures believed that gods lived in trees. When one would ask for a favor from these gods, he would lightly touch the bark of the tree. To say thank you after the favor had been granted, he would knock lightly one more time. This custom may have also originated with Christians who were offering thanks for good fortune with this gesture to Jesus Christ who died on a cross made from wood.

Even though the superstition of knocking on wood is an outlandish way of reversing bad luck, it is a harmless act that makes the person feel more fortunate about a future event. The typical rationale of the people who practice this superstition is “that it is better safe then sorry”. The old superstition is a little ridiculous however, if it gives the person a placebo effect of feeling confident and safe about an upcoming event, knocking on wood is not a completely useless practice.


  1. I never thought that this expression had religious implications and origins. That's actually pretty neat!

  2. I found the origins of this very interesting, especially since its something I do on a daily basis.

  3. I never knew that this has a religious background to it which makes this myth a bit more interesting. I never realized the placebo effect when I knock on wood!

  4. I still do this to this day! Its interesting to find out that it has a religious origin.