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Have you ever knocked on wood? If so, why? According to History dot com, the phrase “knock on wood” has been part of the speech since at the least the 19th century. There is no agreement on how it originated. One common explanation traces the phenomenon to ancient pagan cultures such as the Celts, who believed that spirits and gods lived in trees. Knocking on tree trunks may have served to rouse the spirits and call on their protection, but it could have also been a way of showing gratitude for a stroke of good luck. Another theory is that people knocked on wood to chase away evil spirits or prevent them from listening in when they boasted about their luck, thereby preventing a reversal of fortune. While the origins of “knock on wood” may never be known for certain, the superstition remains popular around the globe.