break a leg

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Unknown; many unproven and widely debated theories exist. One of the most plausible is that it comes from Yiddish הצלחה און ברכה ‎(hatslokhe un brokhe, success and blessing) through the heavy Ashkenazi Jewish influence in the American theater, via the misinterpretation in German as Hals- und Beinbruch ‎(neck and leg break). The Yiddish phrase itself comes from Hebrew הַצְלָחָה וּבְרָכָה ‎(hatzlakhá u-v'rakhá, success and blessing).

VerbEdit

break a leg ‎(imperative only)

  1. (idiomatic) To perform well in a theatrical production or comparable endeavor.
    Go out there and break a leg tonight. Put on a great show!

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