"break a leg"

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Jan 24 01:47:09 UTC 2001

This expression is similar to one in Japanese - hone-o ore - which means to
break a bone. I've always wondered if it is related or simply an expression
common in many languages.

Benjamin Barrett
gogaku at ix.netcom.com

> -----Original Message-----
> Behalf Of Jan Ivarsson
> Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2001 1:50 PM
> Nigel Rees' Dictionary of Phrase & Allusion (Bloomsbury 1993) has
> the phrase and confirms my opinion:
> "This traditional greeting is said before a performance,
> especially a first night (...) Morris (Dict. of Word and Phrase
> Origins, 1977) has it based on a German good luck expression,
> Hals- und Beinbruch."

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