Why Do We Cross Our Fingers For Good Luck?

Crossing your fingers to achieve good luck, or in a display of hopeful solidarity that things go well for someone else, is a widely recognized gesture. The finger-cross has a long history — and, originally, it was not a solo act. In the early days of Christianity, when Christians were frequently persecuted for their beliefs, to recognize fellow Christians they developed a series of hand gestures, one of which involved forming the ichthys — fish symbol — by touching thumbs and crossing index fingers. The symbol represents a puzzle in which the Greek letters i, ch, th, y, and s are also the first letters in the phrase Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr, which in English means “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” This theory doesn’t fully explain how luck initially became associated with the gesture, but it suggests that crossing ones fingers imparted a blessing or hope for a wish or prayer.