Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

A lot of native speakers use the expression “To knock on wood.”

Today we have a question from a listener who would like to start using this expression too.

Today we show you how, where, and when to use it correctly when you chat with native speakers in English.


Hi Lindsay!

“I’m Eunhye from South Korea. I listen to All Ears English to improve my English skills everyday! This is an excellent way for me to study English. Thank you for giving such useful Episodes! And also I’d like to know what “knock on wood” means. If you could check this out and explain to me, I would very much appreciate it. Thank you!”

-Eunhye, South Korea


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Are you a superstitious person?

Many native speakers say this all the time.

It makes us feel like we have some control over the situation even though it makes no difference.


What does it mean?

Knock on wood: Make sure your luck doesn’t change

Also you can say: “Don’t jinx it!” Or , “I don’t want to jinx it.”


Examples: “Knock on wood”

A: How are things going with your boyfriend?

B: Good! He’s so great and I actually think we may get engaged soon, knock on wood!


Next year I should have enough money to get a new car, knock on wood.


A: How was the job interview?

B: I loved it! It’s such a nice company and I think I have a good shot, knock on wood.


Examples: “I don’t wanna jinx it or Don’t jinx it!”


A:You are totally going to win the bid on that new house.

B: Sh! Don’t jinx it!


A: So you’ve been working at your company for a while. You think you’ll stay there?

B: Yeah, it’s great, and I don’t wanna jinx it, but I think I may be getting a promotion soon!

A:That’s great!


What are some superstitions you can think of?

  • Walking under a ladder
  • Breaking a mirror
  • Black cat
  • Sports teams wearing the same socks if they keep winning for each game


Have you tried using “knock on wood” or “Don’t jinx it?”

Let us know in the search bar below.

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