Idiom 96 – Break a leg!

„I’m feeling a little nervous. Tomorrow I have to give a presentation to a large group of potential investors – and I have to do it all in French!“

„Don’t worry! You’re well prepared and your French is excellent – you’ll be great. Break a leg! (Hals- und Beinbruch!) idiom comes from the superstitious (abergläubisch) world of the theatre. Among actors it is considered bad luck to wish someone „good luck“ directly – so by wishing them bad luck (in the form of a broken leg) the opposite will come true. Another example of a theatre superstition is the belief that it is unlucky to say the name of the famous Shakespeare play „McBeth“ inside a theatre. Instead, actors talk about „the Scottish play“ or „the Bard’s play“ (the Bard is a nickname for Shakespeare).