"touch wood or you'll be catching one to-morrow," put in Merle hastily.
If it were only this compulsion to touch wood I should not mind.
"touch wood before you boast," but she stopped and caught me by the arm.
Mark me worruds, whin a person boasts and fergits to touch wood, something happens to thot person.
It is, I fancy, a cunning way of warding him off, just as the rest of us "touch wood" lest evil befall.
Old English wudu, earlier widu "tree, trees collectively, the substance of which trees are made," from Proto-Germanic *widuz (cf. Old Norse viðr, Danish and Swedish ved "tree, wood," Old High German witu "wood"), perhaps from PIE *widhu- "tree, wood" (cf. Welsh gwydd "trees," Gaelic fiodh- "wood, timber," Old Irish fid "tree, wood"). Woodsy is from 1860. Out of the woods "safe" is from 1792.
"violently insane" (now obsolete), from Old English wod "mad, frenzied," from Proto-Germanic *woth- (cf. Gothic woþs "possessed, mad," Old High German wuot "mad, madness," German wut "rage, fury"), from PIE *wet- "to blow, inspire, spiritually arouse;" source of Latin vates "seer, poet," Old Irish faith "poet;" "with a common element of mental excitement" [Buck]. Cf. Old English woþ "sound, melody, song," and Old Norse oðr "poetry," and the god-name Odin.
The thick xylem of trees and shrubs, resulting from secondary growth by the vascular cambium, which produces new layers of living xylem. The accumulated living xylem is the sapwood. The older, dead xylem in the interior of the tree forms the heartwood. Often each cycle of growth of new wood is evident as a growth ring. The main components of wood are cellulose and lignin.