Podcast Inglês Online

Podcast Inglês Online

Podcast: Keep your fingers crossed

May 20, 2020

How’s it going? No episódio de hoje eu falo sobre o idiom keep your fingers crossed.


Hi. How are you? This is Ana, back with a new episode of the Inglês Online podcast. Hope all is well. What’s the weather like in Brazil? I think it’s getting cold in Brazil, isn’t it?

Today I came across this really, really cool idiom, which is keep your fingers crossed. Keep your fingers crossed. Open your hand and look at your fingers: you have your thumb… Let’s say your thumb is the first finger to the left, and then the next two fingers, if you sort of intertwined them… That’s your fingers crossed. Cross your fingers and keep your fingers crossed, because… Let’s say, tomorrow I have my English exam and I’ve studied so hard, and I’m hoping (that) I’m going to do really well. Please keep your fingers crossed. I have to get a good grade on my English exam.

That’s basically what keep your fingers crossed means. It’s like a lucky… It’s as though if people keep their fingers crossed for you, that is somehow going to help you. I guess that’s a symbol of their good wishes or maybe good vibes, I don’t know… But people say to each other “I’m trying to do this thing tomorrow that I really want to be successful. Keep your fingers crossed”.

I did a search on the Inglês Online blog and then I found this old article that I wrote with two idioms. One is “high five” and the other one is “keep your fingers crossed”. Actually I had already written about it!… but it doesn’t have any audio.

Here are some of the examples I included in this article (and you’re going to find the link at the bottom of the podcast episode page). One example was Jane said “I have a job interview tomorrow finally”. And then her friend Tom says That’s awesome. Do you feel ready? And she says I’ve been practicing my interview skills or questions. And Tom says Great, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Another example that I used in the article was about Mary saying that her driving test is tomorrow and then she says Fingers crossed! After all, she has failed the exam three times already. Hey third time’s a charm! Fingers crossed. “Please root for me”… Which is a bit funny – it is a funny thing to say, because I don’t know what crossing your fingers will do for the outcome of the situation that you’re going to go through.

I haven’t really looked into the origin of this idiom, but I bet it’s pretty interesting. If you know what the origin of this is… If you know why people say “fingers crossed”, “Please keep your fingers crossed for me”… If you know why they say that and why it means that maybe there’s a bigger chance of what you’re going to do being successful, let me know.

Tell me: What is the last time that you asked someone to keep their fingers crossed, maybe in Brazil… Using, obviously, a Brazilian expression? Can you let me know? Can you give me an example?

Let me know and talk to you next time.

Article: Keep your fingers crossed

Key expressions

  • Keep your fingers crossed


intertwined = entrelaçou

third time’s a charm = Agora vai, da terceira não passa

root for me = torça por mim

outcome of the situation = resultado/desfecho/consequência da situação