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#123624 - 02/21/04 03:37 PM kinehora
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
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 04:04 PM Re: kinehora
jheem Offline

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1475
Loc: California
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 - 03/01/04 07:55 PM Re: kinehora
Fiberbabe Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 771
Loc: Portland, Oregon
And likewise, kinehora is to the Jewish what "knock on wood" is to... who started that one anyway?

#123627 - 04/16/04 03:57 PM Re: kinehora
Coffeebean Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 725
Loc: Oregon, USA
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 05:48 PM Post deleted by kiralynn
kiralynn Offline

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 1

#123629 - 04/26/04 05:53 PM Re: kinehora
jheem Offline

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1475
Loc: California
Here's what Michael Quinion has to say:


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

#123630 - 05/11/04 01:20 PM knock on wood
apples + oranges Offline

Registered: 08/30/00
Posts: 46
Loc: Canada
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.


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