4

How do you say a situation wherein you are thinking of something negative while not speaking about it otherwise it might come true.

Conversely, it could also be a situation wherein you are not verbalizing a hopeful thought fearing the positive situation might reverse.

  • Don't leave answers as comments; leave answers as answers. Comments don't have the quality assurance mechanisms that answers do. – V2Blast Jul 7 '18 at 19:03
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The second one would be "I don't want to jinx it", but I don't think it applies to the first situation.

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  • +1 A perfectly good response to the second situation. – Jason Bassford Jul 7 '18 at 17:55
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I can't think of an expression for remaining silent out of fear of something happening if you were to actually express a thought.

It could be an example of superstition, but that's not very specific.


The closest thing I could think of—and which is more appropriate for the title of this question rather than its detail—is the phrase knock on wood:

[Oxford]

North American

Said in order to prevent a confident statement from bringing bad luck.

‘I have never, knock on wood, been typecast’
‘I used direct deposit, it hasn't been a problem as of yet, knock on wood.’

This is contrasted to touch wood, which is the UK version and has the same meaning:

[Oxford]

British

Said in order to prevent a confident statement from bringing bad luck.

‘I haven't been banned yet, touch wood’
‘We haven't had a fatal accident in the village yet, touch wood, but we don't want to sit back and wait for that to happen.’


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2

The 1st situation can be described as trying to avoid a self-fulfilling prophecy: something that you cause to happen by saying and expecting that it will happen.

The 2nd situation, as user Pantera Onca already answered, is commonly referred to as a jinx.

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  • I don't think the first part exactly fits: "that you cause to happen by saying and expecting that it will happen". OP stated they wouldn't speak about the negative thing: "thinking... while not speaking about it otherwise it might come true". And the inference is that since it wasn't spoken of, the negative thing probably wouldn't happen, at least not as a result of avoiding to speak about it. – Kevin Fegan Feb 19 '19 at 18:05

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