Tuesday, April 19, 2011


So we all know when a performer is about to go on stage for the opening night of a performance we say "break a leg". But why would we wish anyone harm intentionally; especially if they are going to be performing in front of a group of people?
"Break a leg" has a few different origins, from a few different places, the Greek origin, the Shakespearean origin, and Roman origin are among the most known.
The Greek origin: After a performance would take place, as the cast was taking their bows, the audience would stomp their feet or bang their chair on the ground. If they stomped long enough some people would break their leg/or leg of the chair. So, if they were on their feet long enough/stomp their chair, to break their own leg, the actor must have put on quite a good performance.
The Shakespearean origin: When the actor would take their bows, the audience would either throw money(good) or rotten vegetables(bad) onto the stage. When money is thrown the actors would then "break their leg" line and kneel to pick up their earnings. So saying "break a leg" here is wishing them good fortune at the end of their performance.
The Roman origin: Because the performers at this time were mostly Gladiators, when they would get ready to enter the Colosseum they would be wished to "break a leg", meaning; stay alive and break the legs of the other opponents, that way you have more time to run while they fall victim to the other gladiators and the lions.
So next time someone is about to perform in a show or perform a job of any kind, wish the luck by saying "break a leg".

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