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Fingers crossed

  • Fingers crossed is an idiom with its roots in early Christianity. An idiom is a figure of speech that is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the expression fingers crossed, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    Fingers crossed is a phrase one uses to express the hope that something comes to pass, or that someone is blessed with good luck. The phrase fingers crossed comes from the very physical act of crossing one’s middle finger over one’s index finger, signifying one’s hope for good luck. Interestingly, the act of crossing one’s fingers in this manner is often secretly employed by children when telling a lie. This supposedly justifies the telling of the lie or absolves the liar of guilt, even though the person being lied to is unaware that the teller of the lie has crossed his fingers. The physical act of crossing one’s fingers dates back to early Christianity, when Christians used the gesture to secretly invoke the power of the cross or to let other Christians know of their affiliation with the religion. Today, the term fingers crossed is used to impart good wishes or to invoke luck, either for the speaker or the listener.

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    Examples

    Over the next 12 to 18 months Jamaicans will be keeping their fingers crossed that the country’s first-ever oil and gas exploration 3-D seismic survey, just ended, will confirm indications of commercial quantities of the commodity on our south coast. (The Jamaica Observer)

    Talking about the present situation, a senior officer deployed in the Valley said the forces were keeping their fingers crossed. (The New Indian Express)

     


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