Word Nerd

Word Nerd: “Abracadabra”

The word “Abracadabra” is often said while one uses slight of hand. A magician might say it before pulling a rabbit out of his hat. Your kid brother could utter the word with a theatrical flair while doing a card trick.

Past Power of Abracadabra

In the past, the word itself held a power all its own.

Yes, hundreds of years ago people actually believed that the word “abracadabra” was a magical spell and its mere utterance could have a magical effect.

The exact origin of the term is up for debate, but this short video clip
covers several possibilities. It begins with what is perhaps one of the oldest records we have of “Abracadabra” being used. Check out the ‘bonus material’ at the end where they cover some Harry Potter magic spells and the term, “Hocus Pocus.”


Eventually, the word started to take on the meaning of “fake magic.” That is what we mostly associate with the word, “abracadabra” today.

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