“Fingers Crossed”

Ever been that child who has fingers crossed, hoping that Santa will bring the wished-for gift? I have used this gesture more in 2022 than I ever remember – hoping a student will pass her citizenship test, hoping my plane flight will not be canceled . . . Hoping a LOT of things. The gesture is so common that there is even an emoji! So, I finally decided to investigate its origin, in the spirit of all children who are anxiously awaiting that special something (with fingers crossed). 🤞

From The Fascinating Origin and Meaning of the ‘Crossed Fingers’ Gesture – Mysticurious, I was reminded that crossing one’s fingers can indicate two (what I would say are) VERY different meanings. One is the scenario I described, above, hoping for good news. The second meaning of crossing one’s fingers is to indicate that the speaker does not really mean what is being said (okay, I’ll admit it, “lying,”) especially if the fingers are crossed behind the back! Fascinating, indeed!

According to Fingers Crossed – Meaning, Origin and Usage – English-Grammar-Lessons.com, “[t]he intersection of two lines at right angles is part of “sacred geometry,” forming a junction where benevolent spirits reside. Creating the cross with your fingers allowed you to make a wish in the presence of these spirits.” I’m not sure my crossed fingers make a right angle, but I am sensing the “crossed” part has a lot of religious meaning, from what I’ve re

Did you know that there is a popular song called, “Fingers Crossed”? Of course, you did. You are much more trendy than I. Lauren Spencer-Smith, the Canadian singer-songwriter whose song is on TikTok, describes her lyrics using this expression as indicating that, when her boyfriend told her he loved her, it was a lie. The second meaning of the gesture.

I like this reference: Urban Dictionary: fingers crossed.

Fingers crossed is an action performed:

  • 1) for luck.
  • 2) to exclude oneself from the rules which would normally apply.
  • 3) to imply that “we’re like *that*”, ie as close to each other as two crossed fingers
  • Can be represented by the emoticon (yn); apparently this pictorially resembles crossed fingers …
  • 1) fingers crossed for your driving test!
  • 2) “It”: Tagged you!
    Taggee: No, you can’t, cos my i’ve got my fingers crossed.
  • Ma: How could you lie to me, Johnny!?
    Johnny: It wasn’t really a lie, ma; I had my fingers crossed behind my back.
  • Cop: You’re under arrest, Sonny Jim.
    Boy: You can’t arrest me, cos I had my fingers crossed when I burgled all those houses…
  • 3) Mafioso: Me and the Don; we’re like *that*
    Other guy: (gulp)…

I’ll choose the first meaning when I wish you all a very merry holiday season and best wishes that everything turns out as wonderful as you all are! 🤗

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