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Thread: Toi toi toi

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    Default Toi toi toi

    What is the origin? I guess I assumed it was from the French as a way of saying something like "Go get 'em, 'you' " but it's pronounced toy instead of toi (twah) so what's the deal?
    -Ian

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    Senior Member Couac Addict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgz View Post
    What is the origin? I guess I assumed it was from the French as a way of saying something like "Go get 'em, 'you' " but it's pronounced toy instead of toi (twah) so what's the deal?
    Isn't it just to make a spitting sound? The idea of it scaring off evil spirits or more likely - evil opera critics.

  3. #3
    MacLeod
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgz View Post
    What is the origin? I guess I assumed it was from the French as a way of saying something like "Go get 'em, 'you' " but it's pronounced toy instead of toi (twah) so what's the deal?
    It's German, apparently, not French. Where did you get it from?

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    "toi-toi-toi: (an old European custom translated into words to wish you good luck). Saying toi (pronounce: toy) THREE times is derived from the custom of spitting three times over someone's shoulder for good luck."

    Or so it is said in the Wisdom of the Internet.

    http://www.threes.com/index.php?opti...isms&Itemid=48
    Last edited by KenOC; Nov-01-2013 at 07:19.


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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    "toi-toi-toi: (an old European custom translated into words to wish you good luck). Saying toi (pronounce: toy) THREE times is derived from the custom of spitting three times over someone's shoulder for good luck."

    Or so it is said in the Wisdom of the Internet.

    http://www.threes.com/index.php?opti...isms&Itemid=48
    If it's on the internet, it must be true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    It's German, apparently, not French. Where did you get it from?
    I think I've heard it most from Renee Fleming's hosting gigs on Live in HD, but I know I've heard other singers say it too. Darned if I can remember where specifically, probably in some documentary behind-the-scenes bits on various dvds.
    -Ian

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    Quote Originally Posted by rgz View Post
    I think I've heard it most from Renee Fleming's hosting gigs on Live in HD, but I know I've heard other singers say it too. Darned if I can remember where specifically, probably in some documentary behind-the-scenes bits on various dvds.
    It's quite common. It's used the same way as break a leg, which is also rather obscure unless you're Joyce Di Donato.

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Couac Addict View Post
    It's quite common. It's used the same way as break a leg, which is also rather obscure unless you're Joyce Di Donato.
    Another one is ‘in bocca al lupo’

    Explanation
    Ann

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    Member Rackon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Couac Addict View Post
    It's quite common. It's used the same way as breakthrough a leg, which is also rather obscure unless you're Joyce Di Donato.
    With dancers, it's not "break a leg" but "merde", which is indeed French (excrement doncha know). Breaking a leg is too much of a real possibility in ballet. (Plus the language of ballet is French).

    I have heard people wish singers "toi toi toi" and "merde" in the same breath. It all harkens back to theatrical tradition, old supersticions that it's bad luck to wish performers "good luck".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rackon View Post
    Breaking a leg is too much of a real possibility in ballet.
    ...and a little disheartening when said by the understudy.

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