Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To perform well in a theatrical production or comparable endeavor.

Etymologies

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 phrase in fact comes from Hebrew הַצְלָחָה וּבְרָכָה (hatzlakhá u-v'rakhá, "success and blessing"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "Break a leg" is a well-known saying in theatre which means "good luck". It is typically said to actors before they go out onto stage to perform.

    The expression is a theatrical superstition that replaces the phrase "good luck," which is considered bad luck. The expression is sometimes used outside the theatre as superstitions and customs travel through other professions and then into common use.

    _Wikipedia

    February 4, 2008