"break a leg"

Steve K. stevek at SHORE.NET
Tue Jan 23 20:23:48 UTC 2001

>From my theatre background, it would seem that the simple solution is
maybe the best -- in theatre superstition, it's bad luck to wish someone
good luck. It would be interesting to know why 'break a leg' developed
instead of 'break an arm', but I'm pretty sure that the leg is just a leg.
To accord this to some other kind of leg seems pushing it.

Perhaps a source that explains why it's bad luck to whistle in a theatre,
why you never say the final line of a play at the dress rehearsal, why you
never utter the name of the Scottish king, etc. would have more insight,
as opposed to folk etymology sources.

--- Steve K.

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