Monday, 15 October 2012

Break a leg...

My newest english project is a lot of fun! I have to pick a bizarre phrase and figure out the origin and definition behind it and then make one up and see if anyone can tell which ones are real. I chose to research break a leg. There are so many definitions out there and some of them are just so strange but I have them here anyways.

When you're not discussing theater break a leg means to make a strenuous effort so it's possible that it just means to work hard.

We all know that theatrical people are superstitious. (I can tell you that firsthand) They believe that if you say good luck to an actor you are wishing the opposite upon them. So if you tell them to break a leg we hope you mean the opposite.

Break is also a synonym to bend so They might want you to put on such a good performance you have to bow, curtsy or "break your leg" many times.

Impress the audience so much you have to bend down to pick up all the coins they throw onstage.

You should have to go onstage so many times so fast that you end up breaking the "legs" or the side curtains.

They want you to go onstage and have you're big break.

It could be a reference to Sarah Bernhardt, a great actress who had only one leg. It could also be a reference to John Wilkes Booth who broke his leg jumping onto the stage to get away after shooting president Lincoln.

The Greek and Elizabethan meanings are quite similar. Instead of clapping they would stomp their feet of band their chairs against the ground so they wanted you to put on such a good performance either their legs of the chair's legs would break.

Also, in ancient Greece when the gladiators fought, people would wish their favorites good luck by telling them to break a leg that wasn't their own.

A really cool reference to A Shakespearean performance of king Richard the lll and the actor was so entranced in his performance that he didn't notice that he had broken his leg.