Creating English Language Fluency: “Break a Leg”


The idiom, “Break a Leg”, is yet another example of the multiple meanings of words in the English language. In any other language, if you told someone to break a leg, they would be offended and confused as to why you would wish pain on them. Where this meaning originated raises many questions, but the essence of it is ironic. It is based on the theatrical superstition that by wishing someone good luck, they will actually do badly. Instead, by wishing them bad luck, they supposedly will do better. This popular phrase can now be heard in any number of situations as a way of wishing someone luck on something they are doing, while also using some humor to lighten the mood. It is a friendly and joking way of saying “good luck”, and next time someone you know is doing some type of presentation, feel free to tell them “Break a Leg!”

by Luca Naughton

#aiatranslations #englishfluency #esl #idioms

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