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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Phrase for Good Luck?????


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About "chukkus"-

Spoke to a native South African, and he said that while he didn't know the origin, he confirmed that it was and is indeed used in the same manner as Merde and Toi, Toi. :shrug:

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My company has the tradition of saying "Toi Toi". I thought that was odd when I first came. I was familiar with "Merde". So, I say both! :yes:

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Clara, apparently, this is the same kind of back formation that occurred in Tahiti after World War II. American sailors and marines putting into the island would ask to take a photo of the locals, and ask that they say "cheese" as the shutter was snapped. After a few years, the reason for saying "cheese" was forgotten, and the Tahitians starting saying "fromage" when asked if they could be photographed, which of course is not helpful in producing a rough semblance of a smile.

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I remember the expression, "TOI, TOI, TOI," being used by a parent of German descent during a soccer playoff match at a high school tournament. It's intended purpose was, "Good Luck." I haven't heard it used in my ballet circles, but I am sure that we could hear and say anything with all of the national backgrounds that we come upon. I like the expression, MERDE, myself. :-) I say it often. My ice hockey playing boys would start each game with the words, "Hail Mary, full of grace, put this puck in it's place!" So with that, I wish a hearty MERDE to all who are doing the rounds of SI auditions.

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My family came from a farther eastern part of Germany than most - so far east that it's now in Poland, but they would use "ptui, ptui, ptui". It's an obvious echoic for spitting, as in "spit three times to avoid the Devil."

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I heard that it was the 'spitting' sound too.

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"Toi Toi Toi" means kiss Kiss kiss in German. Both German and Austrian dancers confirm it. I gues while in costume, it may be impossible to even air kiss.

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"Toi Toi Toi" means kiss Kiss kiss in German.


Kein es nicht. (no it doesn't)


Both German and Austrian dancers confirm it.


Vielleicht im Dialekt, aber nicht auf wirklischen Deutsch. (Maybe in dialect, but not real German.)

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As a pretty fluent speaker (29 years here, though not a native-speaker), I also believe that "toi toi toi" does not mean "kiss kiss kiss" in "Hochdeutsch", though it can sure sound like that. :-)


It does indeed come from the "spitting" sound, as has been mentioned here several times. ;-)

(in many theaters one does not really hear "toi toi toi" but more a real spitting sound - thankfully without actual spittle!)


It is indeed used widely in at least Austria and Germany; I am not sure about Switzerland. :-)



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Toi toi toi is used in Belgium and the Netherlands as well and we also call the little good luck gifts a toi.



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I love learning all this...and especially like the "toi,toi,toi."


There is always, the completely simple and perennially useful, "Good luck!" which is where the discussion began...


So, is it bad form to use this tried but true phrase...or might it even be considered bad luck??

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I know in Belgium it is considered bad luck to say "Good luck" and I know it must be that way in other countries too. That's why they also say: "Break a leg!" You actually wish bad things, because wishing good things brings bad luck.

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the theater is a haven for superstitions ;-)







p.s. Marjolein, in Germany, too, the little presents given before a premiere / opening night are called "toi toi tois".

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Is "toi" pronounced "toy" or "twah"? just curious...

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