Knocking on wood

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Knocking on wood, or to touch wood, refers to the apotropaic tradition in western folklore[citation needed] of literally touching/knocking on wood, or merely stating that you are doing or intend same, in order to avoid "tempting fate" after making a favourable observation, a boast, or declaration concerning one's own death.

Cultural origins[edit]

On an episode of the American TV show The Rifleman, first aired 11/05/1962, an Irish female character stated 'knocking on wood' was done to alert Lepercahns that a good deed was needed by the person doing the knocking.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Superstitions in Italy". 2007-01-20. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  2. ^ Firestone, Allie. (August 12, 2010) "Knock on Wood: Superstitions and Their Origins" Divine Caroline. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
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