Folk Beliefs
Protection

Knock on Wood

Main Piece: When you say something that is good luck our you don’t want to like jinx it, you have to like knock on wood or say knock on wood. That like prevents you from getting bad luck and like stop you from like jinxing what you said. Context: This piece of folklore was collected in a Taco Bell I work at. I asked my fellow employee if there were any sayings or proverbs that he knew. He gave me one and then after when we both took our breaks he told me this proverb. This time we were sitting down at a table in the dining area and eating. Background:  Lee is a third generation American. However, his ancestral roots originate in South Korea. Lee is unaware of who he learned this folk belief from. He also stated that it does not mean a lot to him; however, he still practices this belief just to make sure. My thoughts: This is a common subgenre of folk belief called folk protection. In this instance you protect yourself by knocking on wood or saying “knock on wood” from turning your good luck into bad luck. It would be interesting to see on how this folk belief started because of its wide popularity.  This folk belief is interesting because it is practiced by many who do not believe in the protection, or who are not superstition. This folk belief has become so widespread that it is said and done as a habit. Another folk belief similar is when people say “Bless You” after someone sneezes.

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