Thu, 12 Apr 2012 20:48:05 GMT | By Tom Phillips
Superstitions and their origins -13 of them

Crossing fingers

Crossing fingers (© OJO Images / Rex Features)
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  • The Scottish Play (© Rex Features)
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  • Dead Man's Hand (© gfpeck/Flickr/CC)
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Crossing your fingers to wish for good luck (or, secretly, to get you out of keeping a promise) is common around the world - but its origins are unclear. It seems to be most common in Christian countries, suggesting that it's related to the Christian sign of the cross. However, other suggestions include it being an old Pagan or Norse gesture, or possibly a good luck superstition created by archers during the "Hundred Year War" between England and France (archers used their two main fingers to draw back their bow.)

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