English Phrases for Bringing Us Luck

Level 1 Level 2
İngilizce Öğren LingoVivo News

Superstitions often weave themselves into our daily routines, shaping the way we approach luck and fortune. This influence is particularly evident in certain English expressions rooted in superstitious beliefs.

The phrase "keep your fingers crossed" reflects a hopeful outlook, with some individuals physically crossing their fingers while using this expression. Although theories suggest an association with early Christian symbolism, the documented usage of this phrase only traces back to the early 20th century.

Seeking protection from ill fate, people often say "touch wood" (in the UK) or "knock on wood" (in the US) while physically interacting with wooden surfaces. While ancient beliefs in tree-dwelling spirits offer a plausible origin, the more likely source is a 19th-century children's game where touching wood served as a safeguard against being caught.

Transitioning from everyday superstitions to the realm of theater, the unconventional phrase "break a leg" is employed to wish actors luck before taking the stage. This phrase stems from the belief among actors that uttering "good luck" is jinxed, prompting them to wish for the opposite outcome.


1- What is the likely origin of the expression "keep your fingers crossed"?

2- Why do actors use the phrase "break a leg" instead of saying "good luck"?

3- What is the purpose of saying "touch wood" or "knock on wood" in terms of luck?


You have completed the comprehension questions. 

Parts of this lesson are based on: An article Engoo Daily News.