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A superstitious expression said, typically in combination with actually touching or knocking on a wooden object or surface, when one desires something positive to continue, lest the mention of it "jinx" or somehow reverse one's good fortune. More commonly expressed as "knock on wood." I've been driving for 36 years and have never been in an accident. Touch wood! Hopefully, touch wood, we'll continue to avoid sickness this winter.
touch woodmainly BRITISH or
knock on woodmainly AMERICAN
COMMON When you are talking about a good situation, you say touch wood to mean that you hope this continues and that you will not have bad luck. She's such a healthy, happy child, touch wood. She's never even been to the doctor's. `And knock on wood, I have been at the company for 13 years, and I have not missed one day's work through illness.' Note: In American English, you can also simply say knock wood. So far, knock wood, everything seems good. Note: This expression may come from the ancient belief that good spirits lived in trees and people used to tap on them to ask the spirits for help or protection. Alternatively, it may be related to the Christian practice of touching a rosary or crucifix. People sometimes actually touch or knock on a wooden surface as they say this.
touch woodsaid in order to prevent a confident statement from bringing bad luck.
A North American variant is knock on wood . The phrase refers to the traditional custom of touching something wooden to avert possible bad luck.
1991 Rohinton Mistry Such a Long Journey Sohrab and Gustad did not shout or argue like they used to, touch wood.
touch ˈwood(British English) (American English knock on ˈwood) (saying) used for expressing the hope that your good luck will continue: We haven’t had a serious accident yet, touch wood.
This refers to the custom of touching something made of wood to prevent bad luck. People still often try to touch something made of wood when they say this.