Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Becky: Friday the 13th and Knocking on Wood. Becky here.
Eric: And I'm Eric.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn about two common superstitions in the U.S. The first superstition is about bad luck. What are we going to talk about?
Eric: First we’re going to talk about Friday the 13th.
Becky: In the U.S., it's believed that a Friday that falls on the 13th day of any month is an unlucky day.
Eric: This is both because Fridays and the number 13 are considered unlucky by some.
Becky: Some Christians believe that Jesus was crucified on a Friday, making it unlucky. But I think most Americans don’t think of Friday as unlucky.
Eric: I’d agree. But, a lot of people believe the number 13 is unlucky. This goes back to the Last Supper where Jesus was betrayed.
Becky: Right, 13 people attended the dinner.
Eric: All together, that makes Friday the 13th an unlucky day.
Becky: Hey Eric, have you ever seen the movie Friday the 13th?
Eric: Oh, no. I hate horror movies.
Becky: Let’s now talk about something that brings good luck...
Eric: We think it’s lucky to knock on wood.
Becky: Let’s say you’re up for a big promotion at work and you’re talking about what you would do if you got it. You might say, “if I get this promotion, knock on wood…”
Eric: and then tap on the table a couple times, like you were knocking on the door.
Becky: In many cultures, protective spirits are believed to live in trees. This superstition probably comes from that.
Eric: So knocking on wood is a way to avoid tempting fate: You knock on wood to remind yourself that the future is still uncertain.
Becky: Exactly. We knock on wood when we’re talking about something that is likely to happen, but we’re still not sure.
Eric: And it doesn’t have to be wood. Just anything solid and nearby.


Becky: There you have it - two American superstitions! Are they similar to any of your country’s superstitions? Let us know in the comments!
Eric: Bye!