Updating WordPress to 5.5 "Eckstine" and an idiom phrase

Posted By on August 14, 2020

WordpressEckstine5.5Friday afternoon was a day of server housekeeping, along with the week’s usual billing and accounting. It was also time to update this blog’s WordPress plugins and to the current version called “Eckstine” 5.5.

In WordPress 5.5, your site gets new power in three major areas: speed, search, and security.

Thankfully after the move to the new server hardware in May 2020, everything has been running so much better than before (knock on wood).
 

What’s the meaning of the phrase ‘Knock on wood’?

This phrase is used by people who rap their knuckles on a piece of wood hoping to stave off bad luck. In the UK, the phrase ‘touch wood‘ is used – often jokingly by tapping one’s head. The phrases are sometimes spoken when a person is already experiencing some good fortune and hope that it will continue – for example "I’ve been winning on every race – touch wood".

What’s the origin of the phrase ‘Knock on wood’?

The derivation may be the association that wood and trees have with good spirits in mythology, or with the Christian cross. It used to be considered good luck to tap trees to let the wood spirits within know you were there. Traditions of this sort still persist in Ireland.

The British version of the phrase – ‘touch wood’, pre-dates the American ‘knock on wood’ and was itself preceded by a Latin version – ‘absit omen’, meaning ‘far be that omen from us’. This dates from at least the early 17th century, when it is quoted by John Heywood in his collections of proverbs. It isn’t clear when ‘touch wood’ began to be used as a token of good fortune but it must have been by 1850, when the academic correspondence magazine Notes and Queries published this:

There probably is some old English expression for averting evil, but it does not come to mind; "I touch wood," "Bar omen," "Bar ill-luck," seem clumsy.

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Comments

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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