Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#123624 02/21/04 08:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
W
wwh Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
OP Offline
Carpal Tunnel
W
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
From the Yiddish Dictionary:
Kinehora n : A curse in reverse. A colleague says with best intentions; "Looks like you're going to get a promotion, Jack." Kinehora! You quickly cover his mouth, for to utter such a thing is to ensure it will never happen.



#123625 02/21/04 09:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,475
J
veteran
Offline
veteran
J
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,475
The evil eye, ’eyn hora, is pretty cross cultural. The phrase in Yiddish is keyn ’eyn-hora 'no evil-eye; knock on wood'. In Italian the sign to make to counter the malocchio is the cornuto 'the horns' (index and pinkie stretched out with middle and ring finger curled under covered by thumb) or the fica 'the fig' (thumb between the index and middle finger). The evil eye can be the envious glance of somebody (usually considered a witch). Bad mojo. Ptui, ptui, ptui. &c.


#123626 03/02/04 12:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 771
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 771
And likewise, kinehora is to the Jewish what "knock on wood" is to... who started that one anyway?


#123627 04/16/04 07:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 725
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 725
I checked Robert Hendrickson's Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, and he says "the superstition is an old one and has many possible explanations, none sure. It may be of pagan origin, deriving from the practice of rapping on trees to ask protection from friendly spirits who were believed to reside inside. Or it could be a Christian superstision similar to touching wodden cricifixes or rosary beads."


#123628 04/26/04 09:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1
K
stranger
Offline
stranger
K
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1

#123629 04/26/04 09:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,475
J
veteran
Offline
veteran
J
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,475
Here's what Michael Quinion has to say:

http://www.quinion.com/words/qa/qa-tou1.htm

I always assumed it to be pre-Christian, too.


#123630 05/11/04 05:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 46
A
newbie
Offline
newbie
A
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 46
When I was little, growing up in Poland, it was customary to knock on wood whenever you did something bad (like swearing). That was in reference to confession where afterwards the priest tells you to go in peace and knocks on the (wooden) confessional three times.



Moderated by  Jackie 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,904
Posts227,976
Members9,147
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
accCngrssMRA, rexdee, gypsydancer, Astrostu, Chaske
9,147 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 121 guests, and 3 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,542
LukeJavan8 9,797
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2021 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5
(Release build 20201027)
Responsive Width:

PHP: 7.4.25 Page Time: 0.014s Queries: 27 (0.005s) Memory: 2.8964 MB (Peak: 3.2483 MB) Data Comp: Off Server Time: 2021-10-26 08:13:01 UTC
Valid HTML 5 and Valid CSS