abracadabra (magic word)

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Encolpius, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Hello, which are the most common magic words in your language. Magic word a word said by someone performing a trick to help it work successfully. Thanks.

    Hungarian: hókusz-pókusz, abrakadabra, csiribí-csiribá...

    Czech: čáry máry fuk, abrakadabra, sim sala bim....
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  2. Perseas Senior Member

    Abrakatabra (Άμπρα κατάμπρα) is also a Greek common magic word.
  3. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    «Άμπρα-κατάμπρα» ['ambra ka'tambra] (written also as a single word «αμπρακατάμπρα» [ambraka'tambra])

    Ancient Greeks of Classical era, used a few meaningless (gibberish) words inscribed on their clothes, or on statues and images of deities as magic words, known as «Ἐφέσια γράμματα» (Εphesian words). These magic words were:

    «Ἄσκι-Κατάσκι-Λίξ-Τετράξ-Δαμναμενεύς-Αἴσιον» áskĭ-kătáskĭ-líks-tĕtráks-dămnămĕneús-ǽsiŏn
    «Βέδυ-Ζάμψ-Χθών-Πλῆκτρον-Σφίγξ-Κνάξβι-Χθύπτης-Φλέγμων-Δρώψ» bédŭ-zámps-kʰtʰṓn-plêktrŏn-spʰíŋks-knáksbĭ-kʰtʰúptēs-pʰlégmōn-drṓps
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  4. Grefsen

    Grefsen Senior Member

    Southern California
    English - United States
    The most common "magic words" I've heard used by magicians here in the U.S. are "abracadabra" and "hocus pocus."
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  5. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Abrakadabra or hokus pokus/hokus pokus filiokus

    The hocus pocus is probably from Latin, from the Eucharist words "Hoc est corpus meum" and filiokus from "filioque".
  6. Grefsen

    Grefsen Senior Member

    Southern California
    English - United States
    Yes, it could be a corruption of those Latin words, but interestingly enough there are other sources that consider "hocus pocus" to be a reference to the Norse folktale sorcerer Ochus Bochus. ;)
  7. arielipi Senior Member

    its where these all abra kadabra variations come from; its a mispronunciation of two words - evra ka'adaber - I (shall) create (as in creation) as (my mouths) speak.
    So, abra kadabra,(<-) alakazem, hokus pokus (bili bokus), shazaam, tadam!, shazam,
    open sesame
  8. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Oy! :D

    In Russian come to mind:
    фокус покус /fokus pokus/ - "fokus" means "trick"
    крибле крабле бумс /krible krable booms/
    трах тибидох /trakh tibidokh/ - this is an imitation of Arabic magic words from a children's story about an exotic magical character from Baghdad.

    We actually have абракадабра /abrakadabra/, but it just means "nonsense, gibberish" rather than a magical spell.
  9. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Translation of the Czech "čáry máry fuk":

    čáry = lines (as the sorcerers usually make magic lines);
    máry = biers (it rhymes with čáry);
    fuk = verbal noun or interjection derived from the onomatopoeic verb foukati (< *fuuu, = to blow), after saying fuk! something (e.g. a coin, rabbit, etc.) will disappear (is blown away);

    N.B. fuk is pronounced fook, not fuck!
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  10. Grefsen

    Grefsen Senior Member

    Southern California
    English - United States
    Thanks for sharing this arielipi! :thumbsup:

    Another expression I just thought of that is used by magicians in the U.S. when they want something to suddenly change into something else is "presto chango."
  11. ahmedcowon Senior Member

    In Arabic:

    هاروش ماروش /harush marush/
    شخارم بخارم /shakharem bakharem/
    أشتاتا أشتوت /ashtatan ashtut/

    افتح يا سمسم /iftah ya semsem/ from "1001 Arabian Nights"
  12. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    There are no common magic words in Tagalog, the abracadabra became common as a result of magic shows in TV and movies. The word of wish in Tagalog are a.) Nawa and 2.) Papangyarihin the third one after the wish statement of others is "Loobin".
  13. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    In Cantonese, it must be the phrase pronounced maa1 li1 maa1 li1 hum1. I have no idea where it comes from, what it means, or even whether it's really Cantonese. (It does sound a bit like 'om mani padme hum', though. :p)
  14. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    ^Interestingly it has the same number of syllables and the same vowels like Czech "čáry máry fuk", where the first two words are pronounced slowly (with prolongated áá) waving the magic wand, the last word is pronounced shortly.
  15. ancalimon Senior Member

    In Turkish we also have "abra kadabra" and "hokus pokus".

    abra and arba means to cast magic spell or to deceive in Turkic.
  16. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    Yes, that applies to the Cantonese phrase as well. :)
  17. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    It's from here. :) A Sanskrit mantra of Buddhism.
    Oh, looks you already know "om mani padme hum". I'm sure the Cantonese version is from here.

    In Chinese Mandarin, it's often 天灵灵,地灵灵,xxxx快显灵……
    Literally: Heaven ling ling, earth ling ling, xxxx please show your effectiveness already...
    灵 ling2 has multiple meanings related to spirits, effectiveness, answering prayers...

    However, the above piece sounds too obvious and ridiculous, like the atheists deliberately make it up to mock the practitioners. A "real" magician doesn't seem to be using this words.

    The Sanskrit mantra "oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ" (唵嘛呢叭咪吽) and "open sesame" (芝麻开门) are also well-known...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2015
  18. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    It's not a mispronunciation, it's simply Aramaic.
  19. origumi Senior Member

  20. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
    In French, we just use 'abracadabra'.

    It gave two adjectives: 'abracadabrant' & 'abracadabrantesque'.
  21. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    How about other languages?
  22. Holger2014 Senior Member

    German has very similar expressions:
    - Hokus-Pokus
    - Abrakadabra [a:braka'da:bra]
    - Simsalabim [zimzala'bim]
  23. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    In Japanese:
    ちちんぷいぷいChichin puipui

Share This Page