Break a Leg

"Break a leg" is a common phrase used to wish someone good luck before a performance or event.

Meaning and Definitions

  • A phrase used to wish someone good luck before a performance or event.
  • An expression of encouragement or support.
  • A way of saying “do your best” or “I hope you succeed”.
  • A way of acknowledging the hard work and effort that goes into a performance or event.
  • A way of showing confidence in someone’s abilities.

Synonyms

  • Good luck.
  • Knock ’em dead.
  • Break a neck.

Example Sentences

  1. Before the play started, the director wished the actors good luck by telling them to break a leg.
  2. She was nervous before her big audition, but her friends encouraged her by telling her to break a leg.
  3. The coach told the team to break a leg before the big game, to show his confidence in their abilities.
  4. Even though she was new to the team, her teammates wished her good luck by telling her to break a leg.
  5. The phrase “break a leg” is often used in theater and entertainment to wish performers good luck before a show.

Origins and Etymology

The origins of the phrase “break a leg” are unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the theater world.

One theory is that it comes from the superstition that wishing someone good luck before a performance will actually bring them bad luck.

By wishing someone to “break a leg,” the bad luck is reversed, and the performer will have a successful show.

Another theory is that the phrase comes from the idea of “breaking the line” – in other words, stepping out of the line of performers to take a solo bow.

Whatever the origins, the phrase has become a common way of wishing someone good luck before a performance or event.

douglas heingartner editor saywhatyo!
Douglas Heingartner

Douglas Heingartner, the editor of SayWhatYo!, is a journalist based in Amsterdam. He has written about science, technology, and more for publications including The New York Times, The Economist, Wired, the BBC, The Washington Post, New Scientist, The Associated Press, IEEE Spectrum, Quartz, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, Frieze, and others. His Google Scholar profile is here, his LinkedIn profile is here, and his Muck Rack profile is here.