Using a clever compilation of a variety of clips from film and television, GeoBeats offered some possible and valid theories explaining why actors are told to “break a leg” before a show, rather than being wished good luck with their performance.
It became a favorite idiom of well wishers outside of the theater – but where did the odd phrase originate? Since there are so many things that can go wrong in the midst of a live production like a play. The cast and crew are a superstitious bunch.
Wishing someone good luck could put someone at ease and cause them to forget their lines or actually injure themselves. Hence reverse well wishing became the standard.