In bocca al lupo
“In bocca al lupo” is a way to say “Good Luck” to those who are maybe going to need it.
Over the centuries, the term has taken on superstitious terms to avoid the possibility of an adverse event, it is expressed in the form of a greeting. “”In bocca al lupo”
Go to the mouth of the wolf is in fact a blatant metaphor for getting into trouble.
Crepi il lupo
A reply to the greeting could or would be “Fuck the wolf!” or literaly “Death to the wolf”
Although the origin of the figure of speech is not clear, as other similar expressions that feature the wolf, it would seem linked to the image of the wolf in the folk tradition as the personification of evil: the wolf, wild animal considered and insatiable voracity and sowed death and terror among the inhabitants of the countryside and mountain areas, especially among the shepherds and hunters, becoming the protagonist in the whole of Europe a number of negative stories, legends and stories that were passed down through the centuries: just remember the fables of Aesop and La Fontaine, the wolf of Reynard and the Wolf of Gubbio of the Little Flowers of St. Francis. This frightening vision of the wolf are still traces in many European languages in the form of idioms and proverbs.
The third edition of the Dictionary of the Accademia della Crusca, 1691, quotes the words go good luck with the meaning of “go in the power of the enemy, to meet with it the danger” and the words go in the mouth, meaning more general, defined as “going to prey remain in power” of the enemy (human, animal or evil spirit). The expression (and others like like running in the mouth of the wolf, get good luck, good luck fall, go into the lion’s den), meaning “end up in the hands of the enemy” or “run into serious danger “appears later in other dictionaries.
The expression was probably born by the language of the hunters as a phrase of good luck, addressed antiphrasis (ie opposite to the literal meaning) to the hunters themselves, and by extension, who is going to face a difficult or risky test . The answer “Cracks the wolf!” would instead be born by extension to other expressions, constructed similarly with the verb die, in which the language is given the magical power to ward off bad luck or to ward off a bad omen.