hold your thumbs

hold (one's) thumbs

To maintain hope that something will happen or be the case. Primarily heard in South Africa. The team's manager will be holding thumbs that his star player will be healthy enough to play on Saturday.
See also: hold, thumb

hold your thumbs

fold your fingers over your thumbs to bring good luck; hope for luck or success. South African
1987 Sunday Times (South Africa) They say they are holding thumbs for her and praying that the pregnancy will be trouble-free.
See also: hold, thumb
References in periodicals archive ?
I learnt to anticipate birthdays and name days (so much easier these days with Facebook), to always give flowers in odd numbers, to hold your thumbs and not cross your fingers, and not to even bother asking for a non-smoking table.
When moving around, hold your thumbs over the tubing, or insert corks.