Why We Knock On Wood For Good Luck And The Explanation Of 7 Other Superstitions
Telling someone to ‘knock on wood’ is a motor reflex just like saying ‘that’s what she said’, it comes out before you can even stop yourself. I’m not a particularly superstitious man but I’m certainly guilty of knocking on wood and/or telling people to ‘knock one wood’ if there’s any chance that they’ve jinxed something. If anything, it’s more muscle memory/habit than superstition.
But where’d it come from? That’s what Tech Insider is answering in this clip below where they explore the origins of 8 common superstitions including ‘knock on wood’ and 7 others like the number 13 being unlucky. Which, I’d just like to say that I’ve never understood that one because my birthday is n a 13th and I’ve never encountered anyone in life who tried to tell me the day/number/date is unlucky. I feel like that one’s just poppycock altogether:
I have to say, I love that this clip starts out with a solid etymological explanation of the word ‘superstition’. My favorite teacher from back in the day was an absolute crazy person when it came to etymology and I think that’s the only way any of us learned our vocab words. He’d hammer home the Latin and Greek elements of a word’s construction and force us to learn every aspect of a word (he was also out Latin teacher in addition to AP English). So a quick shout out to whoever at Tech Insider put together this clip for including that.