Wednesday, August 29, 2012

quicko: (possibly offensive theatre jargon)

I just came across a new Australianism, that, from what I gather, is highly debated in terms of precise meaning/origin/acceptability in society, but everyone seems to agree that it belongs in the realm of the theatre.  It's "chookas," which is roughly equivalent to "break a leg."

Explanations I've come across vary from
1.  Rhyming slang of "chook" (chicken) which goes "cluck cluck" which brings "luck."
2.  If you get a big enough audience (I think this one is pretty suspect really ...) you all get to eat chicken for dinner.
3.  If the house is "choc-a-bloc" (very full), you have a big audience and that's good.
4.  None of the above?


Garry with 2 Rs said...

Yeah, that's a strange one. I'd never come across it until a couple of years ago, despite being involved in theatre since I was very young. Now it seems to be everywhere.

I've always said the traditional "break a leg," the theory behind which is that saying "Good luck" is bad luck. I stick to it - I'm a stubbron sort of traditionalist that way.

KIM said...

Hey, I actually know this one! A "leg" is one of the curtains on a stage -- hence, break a leg is that you have so many curtain calls because the audience is applauding so uproariously that the leg breaks from over-use. Or at least that's what they told me in theatre history class once ...

And just for fun -- "It's Bad Luck to Say Good Luck on Opening Night" from The Producers: :)