fingers crossed

fingers crossed
or, crossed fingers

The gesture is referred to by the common expressions “cross your fingers”, “keep your fingers crossed”, or just “fingers crossed”.

Meaning

  • a gesture of crossed fingers used to express good luck
  • to expect that something will happen in the right way as desired
  • a hope that things will happen in the way you want them to
  • used to express the hope of something desired will happen

Example Sentences

  1. Good luck with your test tomorrow. I’ll have my fingers crossed.
  2. Europe extended the lockdowns, with fingers crossed for vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  3. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my husband clears the written interview this Monday to join British Intelligence Bureau.
  4. Fingers crossed that my brother Jack will get a promotion soon.
  5. I think I did pretty well in the exams and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
  6. Airline companies keep fingers crossed as it’s the only transportation option left since several landslides have blocked all the roads on the entire mountain range.
  7. All we can do is cross our fingers and hope that we will win.
  8. Fingers crossed the team can perform as they have over the last two years in the competition.
  9. He now has his fingers crossed for good weather on the day.
  10. It’s too early to say how Mark has done. It didn’t look bad, so fingers crossed.

Origin

The act of crossing one’s fingers dates back to before Christianity. The earliest use of the gesture had two people crossing their index fingers in order to form a cross. The pagans believed that a cross was a symbol of good luck. They believed in “sacred geometry” and believed that benevolent spirits resided in the intersections of crosses. Therefore, once two people made the Cross, they could make a wish, and the spirits would favour them.

It is also believed that in the early days of Christianity, people used it to signal their belief to others. They were persecuted for being Christian, and this was their way of acknowledging each other. They would each form an L with their thumb and index finger, and when placed together, it would make a cross.

With time the gesture evolved to one person being able to do it by themselves. It is rumoured to have developed in the 14th century (during the war) when soldiers needed luck and could not cross fingers with another soldier.

These days people don’t always perform the gesture but simply use the phrase “fingers crossed.”

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1 Thoughts

“Knock on the wood” is a synonym.

- Ivan Stefanovic February 12, 2021

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Idiom of the Day

keep schtum

Meaning: To be quiet when one knows that if the wrong thing is said then there will be more trouble.

Example: I can’t tell you because you will not be able to keep schtum about it. Read on

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