“Fingers crossed”

Yes, yes, I know this is a venerable U.S. expression, so hold your fire. Americans say things like “My fingers are crossed” or “Keep your fingers crossed,” to indicate a wish for good luck. The Brits like to use the phrase by itself, as Americans would say, “Good luck!”, or, similarly, to more or less mean, “Here’s hoping for…” An example is this headline from the local newspaper in the West Midlands town of Solihull: “Fingers Crossed for a Sunny Shirley Carnival.”

I have some sense that the expression is in the early stage of incipient NOOB-itude. I offer this from Andy Benoit’s New York Times preview of the NFL Dallas Cowboys: “The budding star receiver (fingers crossed on off-field matters) Dez Bryant is 23.”

And this quote from American Canadian director James Cameron, about the recent release of his most famous film on Blu-Ray: “We’ve been holding back Titanic. So, fingers crossed.”

10 thoughts on ““Fingers crossed”

  1. Do recall that crossing your fingers (usually behind your back) can also mean you are disavowing a promise. “Uh, you know that thing that I’m saying up front, there? Not really. Rotsa ruck, Engrishman!”

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