break a leg
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 fracture”). The Yiddish phrase itself comes from Hebrew הַצְלָחָה וּבְרָכָה (hatzlakhá u-v'rakhá, “success and blessing”).
- (idiomatic) Said to someone wishing they perform well in a theatrical production or comparable endeavor.
- Go out there and break a leg tonight. Put on a great show!
- I told my friend to break a leg, before she went on stage.
- Synonym: toi, toi, toi (opera)