We’ve made it! After what has been a ridiculous week of snow and ice, winter is retreating. And we are on our way back to a nice fall forecast. I’m so happy to see 47 degrees and rain predicted for the weekend.
Our trivia question today is a bit tricky, because there isn’t one canonical answer. There are a number of explanations for ‘break a leg’. One is simply that superstition requires you don’t actually wish an actor good luck. And the opposite of good luck is breaking your leg. Having just jacked up my knee recently, I can verify this!
Along similar lines is the idea that the expression originated with understudies, sitting backstage quietly hoping that the principal would break a leg, allowing them to get on stage.
It has also been suggested that breaking a leg refers to the bending of one’s leg as they bow or curtsy after a performance.
A more technical answer comes from the knowledge that traditionally the edge of a stage was marked with a line known as the leg line. In proscenium theatres, that line often had curtains hung along it. Those curtains were known as legs. In a time when performers would line up backstage for a chance to perform, and only be paid if they did, breaking a leg meant that the performer crossed the leg line and would be paid.
Listed in General0 comments