“Knock on wood” is an idiom used to express a superstitious belief in the idea that by verbally acknowledging good luck or a positive situation, you might unintentionally “jinx” it and cause something bad to happen. To avoid this supposed jinx, people will often say “knock on wood” while simultaneously physically tapping or knocking on a piece of wood, as if to ward off any potential negative consequences.
Usage with Examples
People use the idiom “knock on wood” when they want to acknowledge something positive or fortunate that has happened to them, but they also want to avoid tempting fate or jinxing the situation. It’s often said humorously and with a touch of irony, as many people recognize that superstition isn’t based on any logical reasoning.
- Person A: “I’ve aced all my exams so far this semester.”
- Person B: “Wow, that’s great! Knock on wood.”
- “I haven’t had a cold in years, knock on wood.”
- “My family has a history of heart disease, but I’ve been healthy so far, knock on wood.”
Synonyms and Similar Words to Knock on Wood Idiom
Mentioned below are some synonyms and related words for the knock-on-wood idiom:
- Touch wood
- Fingers crossed
- God willing
- Hope for the best
- Keep one’s fingers crossed
Also Read: Idioms for IELTS
Knock on Wood Idiom Quiz
Question 1: What is the purpose of saying “knock on wood”?
A) To express disbelief in good luck.
B) To test the durability of wooden objects.
C) To prevent misfortune after mentioning something positive.
D) To invite bad luck intentionally.
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