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Break a leg

Posted by ESC on February 06, 2004

In Reply to: Break a leg posted by R.Berg on February 06, 2004

: : Hi can you please help me find the meaning ang origin to this phrase .

: It means "Good luck!"

: Used by U.S. actors (though it may have originated in England or Germany) to wish each other well just before they go on stage. Actors have a superstition that saying "Good luck" straightforwardly would tempt the gods to subvert the wish by making something bad happen (paraphrased from Eric Partridge, "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases American and British").

Another theory was suggested by a poster here on Phrase Finder. He said "break a leg" is a wish that the audience will be so excited that they will stomp and break the leg/foot rest on back of the seats.