abracadabra (magic word)

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Encolpius

Senior Member
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....
 
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  • 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
    or,
    «Βέδυ-Ζάμψ-Χθών-Πλῆκτρον-Σφίγξ-Κνάξβι-Χθύπτης-Φλέγμων-Δρώψ» bédŭ-zámps-kʰtʰṓn-plêktrŏn-spʰíŋks-knáksbĭ-kʰtʰúptēs-pʰlégmōn-drṓps
     
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    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    -
    Swedish
    Swedish:
    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".
     

    Grefsen

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    The hocus pocus is probably from Latin, from the Eucharist words "Hoc est corpus meum" and filiokus from "filioque".
    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. ;)
     

    arielipi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    Hebrew:
    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
     

    rusita preciosa

    Modus forendi
    Russian (Moscow)
    čáry máry fuk
    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.
     

    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!
     
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    Grefsen

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Hebrew:
    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
    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."
     

    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"
     

    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".
     

    OneStroke

    Senior Member
    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)
     

    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.
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    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)
    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...
     
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    tFighterPilot

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

    ger4

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

    ancalimon

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    The etymology of abra kadabra is not agreed. See several interesting suggestions in the (Hebrew) Wikipedia: http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/אברקדברה
    I do not know about the second part "kadabra",but the word itself is semantically related with Turkic word to me since it is about deceiving and magic.


    Proto-Turkic: *ar-
    Altaic etymology: Altaic etymology

    Meaning: 1 to make magic, cast spells 2 to deceive
    Russian meaning: 1 колдовать, заклинать 2 обманывать
    Old Turkic: ar- 2 (Orkh., OUygh.), arvɨš 'magic' (OUygh.)
    Karakhanid: ar- 1 (MK, KB), arva- 1 (MK)
    Turkish: arpaɣ 'magic' (dial.)
    Tatar: arbɨ- 1 (Sib., КСТТ 103)
    Middle Turkic: arba- 1 (Sangl., Бад.)
    Uzbek: avra- 1, 2
    Uighur: a(r)ba- 1
    Sary-Yughur: arva- 1 (ЯЖУ 16)
    Turkmen: arvax dial. 'evil spirit'
    Khakassian: arba- 1
    Shor: arba- 1, arbɨš 'magic'
    Oyrat: arba-n- 'to scold'
    Yakut: arbā- 1 (Пек. I 139 'to praise for magic purposes')
    Kirghiz: arba- 1, 2
    Kazakh: arba- 1, 2
    Bashkir: arba- 1
    Karakalpak: arba- 1, 2
    Comments: EDT 193, 199, VEWT 24, ЭСТЯ I 168-170. Turk. > MMong. arba- 'to put spells' (SH 8); Turk. arbɨš > Mong. arbis 'knowledge' (Clark 1980, 41).

    And if there is a Turkic connection at all, "kad" part of kadabra could be related with:

    Proto-Turkic: *Kat-
    Altaic etymology: Altaic etymology

    Meaning: to mix, add, tie to
    Russian meaning: смешивать, добавлять
    Old Turkic: qat- (Orkh., OUygh.)
    Karakhanid: qat- (MK, KB)
    Turkish: kat-
    Tatar: qat-
    Middle Turkic: qat- (Sangl., MA, Pav. C., Qutb.)
    Uighur: qat-
    Azerbaidzhan: Gat-
    Turkmen: Gat-
    Khakassian: xat-
    Shor: qat-
    Oyrat: qat-
    Chuvash: xodъš 'mixture'
    Yakut: xat- (but kɨtar- 'to mix')
    Dolgan: kat-
    Tuva: qa't-
    Tofalar: qa't-
    Kirghiz: qat-
    Kazakh: qat-
    Noghai: qat-
    Bashkir: qat-
    Balkar: qat-
    Karakalpak: qat-
    Kumyk: qat-
    Comments: EDT 594-595, VEWT 241, ЭСТЯ 5, 336, 337-338, Stachowski 141, Федотов 2, 373-374.
    Proto-Turkic: *Kat
    Altaic etymology: Altaic etymology

    Meaning: layer
    Russian meaning: слой
    Old Turkic: qat (OUygh.)
    Karakhanid: qat (MK, KB)
    Turkish: kat
    Tatar: qat
    Middle Turkic: qat (Houts., AH, IM, MA)
    Uzbek: qɔt, dial. qɛt
    Uighur: qat
    Azerbaidzhan: Gat
    Turkmen: Gat
    Khakassian: xat
    Oyrat: qat
    Chuvash: xut
    Yakut: xat 'double, X times'
    Dolgan: kat 'X times'
    Tuva: qa't
    Kirghiz: qat
    Bashkir: qat
    Karakalpak: qat
    Kumyk: qat
    Comments: VEWT 241, ЭСТЯ 5, 335-336, TMN 3, 419, Stachowski 140, Ашм. XVI, 250-255, Федотов 2, 371-372. The original meaning must have been "one of two layers" - as witnessed by the Yak. meaning and by external evidence.
     

    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Hungarian: hókusz-pókusz, abrakadabra, csiribí-csiribá...
    These are the most common in Macedonian too:

    абракадабра (abrakadabra) ['abraka'dabra]
    хокус-покус (hokus-pokus) ['xɔkus 'pɔkus]
    чирибу-чириба (čiribu-čiriba) ['t͡ʃiribu 't͡ʃiriba], [t͡ʃiri'bu t͡ʃiri'ba]
     
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    Welsh_Sion

    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    Boringly, no ... as far as I can see. 'Abracadabra!' seems universal. There's 'Dyma chi!' (a little like French 'Voila !' or 'Here you are!' in English) for 'Hey, presto!' otherwise it's a rather barren field over here ...

    I think you sometimes get 'Shazam!' and 'Kaboom!' (the former perhaps as some sort of cod Arabic, or something like that) used by English speakers ...
     
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    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    In Catalan, no surprise, abracadabra too. Sometimes pota de cabra (goat leg) is added right after, because rhyme is important in magic spells, you know.

    As in French, abracadabrant is an adjective derived from it, meaning 'very surprising'.

    Some mentioned in previous posts may be heard from time to time, but they aren't rooted in the language. It's rather more common to hear weird rhyming expressions than just one word.
     
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