skill in or practice of feats of dexterity that create a magical illusion. — legerdemainist. n .
1. change in form, structure, appearance, etc.
Middle East. 1. the practice of atheism.
2. the practice of heretical magie, especially with fire. — Zendic, Zendik. n. — Zendaic. adj .
abracadabra A magical incantation or conjuration; any meaningless magical formula; nonsense, gibberish. Although the precise origin of this ancient rune is not known, it is said to be made up from the initials of the Hebrew words ab ’father,’ ben ‘son,’ and Ruach Acadosch ‘Holy Spirit.’ Formerly believed to have magical healing powers, the word was written in triangular form on parchment and hung from the neck by a linen thread as a charm against disease and adversity. By extension, abracadabra is also commonly used to mean nonsense, jargon, and gibberish, as in:
Leave him … to retaliate the nonsense of blasphemy with the abracadabra of presumption. (Coleridge, Aids to Reflection. 1824)
hocus-pocus A conjurer’s incantation, a magic formula or charm; sleight of hand, legerdemain; trickery, deception; mumbo jumbo, gobbledegook, nonsense. The original 17th-century meaning of the term, now obsolete, was ‘a juggler, a conjurer.’ According to the OED. this use
of the term was apparently an eponymic extension of a certain magician’s assumed name. The name itself is thought to have derived from the mock Latin incantation which he used: ‘Hocus pocus, tontus talontus, vade céleri ter jubeo.’ It has also been theorized that hocus-pocus was a corruption of the Latin words hoc est corpus ‘here is the body,’ uttered by priests at the consecration of the mass. Magicians and conjurers picked up the sounds in mocking imitation.
These insurgent legions … which, by the sudden hocus pocus of political affairs, are transformed into loyal soldiers. (Washington Irving, Life and Letters. 1843)
magic carpet A means of transportation that defies conventional limitations such as gravity, space, or time; a means of reaching any imaginable place. Stories tell of legendary characters who owned magic silk carpets that could be ordered to take a rider wherever he wanted to go. Today the phrase is used figuratively to describe something which has a magical “transporting” effect, such as drugs, or as in the following quotation, a good book.
His Magic Carpet is a book of travels, by means of which he is transported into lands that he is fated never to see. (Times Literary Supplement. August 20, 1931)