FAQ: Where Does The Theatrical Term Break A Leg Come From?

When did break a leg start?

An ironic or non-literal saying of uncertain origin (a dead metaphor), “break a leg” is commonly said to actors and musicians before they go on stage to perform, likely first used in this context in the United States in the 1930s or possibly 1920s, originally documented without specifically theatrical associations.

What literary term is break a leg?

Meaning of “Break a leg” “Break a leg” is commonly used in the world of theatre as a way of wishing a performer or group of performers good luck. The saying, like several other idioms, depends on irony and context.

What are the legs referring to in a theatre?

Legs, borders, travelers, and tabs Legs are tall, narrow drapes hung parallel to the proscenium at the sides of the stage. They’re used to frame the sides of the acting space as well as to mask the wings, where actors and set pieces may be preparing to enter the stage.

How do you use break a leg in a sentence?

Example Sentences

  1. “Break a leg!” shouted the stage director to his actors before the beginning of the play.
  2. You have an exam tomorrow?
  3. “My first stage performance is scheduled for tonight.” “Well, break a leg!”
  4. “Break a leg!” I shouted out to him before he rushed in for his auditions.
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Why do we say break a leg?

This is an expression used mostly in the world of theatre to mean ‘good luck’. Actors and musicians are never wished ‘good luck’; before they walk on to the stage, they are usually told ‘break a leg’. This form of wishing people is beginning to be used in other contexts as well.

Is break a leg still appropriate?

If you’ve come to one of our shows, or any theater performance in general, odds are you’ve heard the term “break a leg,” and maybe even used it to wish performers good luck. It may seem odd, but in the theater world, saying “good luck” is actually considered bad luck.

What is break a leg an example of?

The idiom ‘Break a leg’ is usually used in theater to wish good luck to actors before they go up on stage. Example of use: “ Danny’s family told him to “break a leg” right before he went up on stage.”

What do you reply to break a leg?

Saying Break a leg! to someone before an important event means you hope that he or she does well or has a great show. It is most common in the theatre, where actors say it to each other or family and friends say it to actors before taking the stage. The standard response to Break a leg! is Thanks!

What does Cyclorama mean?

Cyclorama, in theatre, background device employed to cover the back and sometimes the sides of the stage and used with special lighting to create the illusion of sky, open space, or great distance at the rear of the stage setting.

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What was the frame around the stage that hides lights and other equipment called?

The proscenium theatre’s primary advantage is that it hides or “masks” the actors and scenery used for other scenes and the machinery needed for scenic spectacles. Areas above, below, and to the sides of the stage are hidden from the audience’s view by the frame of the proscenium.

How do you hit the sack?

You use the phrase ‘Hit the Sack’ to indicate that it’s time to go to bed. Example of use: “I’ve got to get up early tomorrow, so I’m going to hit the sack.”

What means hang in there?

phrase. If you tell someone to hang in there or to hang on in there, you are encouraging them to keep trying to do something and not to give up even though it might be difficult.

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