hocus-pocus 1620s, Hocas Pocas, common name of a magician or juggler, a sham-Latin invocation used in tricks, probably based on a perversion of the sacramental blessing from the Mass, Hoc est corpus meum "This is my body." The first to make this speculation on its origin apparently was English prelate John Tillotson (1630-1694).
I will speak of one man ... that went about in King James his time ... who called himself, the Kings Majesties most excellent Hocus Pocus, and so was called, because that at the playing of every Trick, he used to say, Hocus pocus, tontus tabantus, vade celeriter jubeo, a dark composure of words, to blinde the eyes of the beholders, to make his Trick pass the more currantly without discovery. [Thomas Ady, "A Candle in the Dark," 1655]

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Hocus Pocus — Hocus pocus, hocus pocus, or hokus pokus is a term used by magicians, usually the magic words spoken when bringing about some sort of change. It may also refer to: Contents 1 Books 2 Film and television 3 Music 4 …   Wikipedia

  • Hocus pocus — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Hocus Pocus est une locution utilisée par les magiciens. On la retrouve en outre dans : Sommaire 1 Résumé 2 Cinéma …   Wikipédia en Français

  • hocus-pocus — [hō′kəspō′kəs] n. [imitation L, prob. altered < hax pax (max Deus adimax), arbitrary magic formula attributed to medieval traveling scholars] 1. meaningless words used as a formula by conjurers 2. a magician s trick or trickery; sleight of… …   English World dictionary

  • Hocus-pocus — Ho cus po cus, n. [Prob. invented by jugglers in imitation of Latin. Cf. {Hoax}, {Hocus}.] 1. A term used by magicians or conjurers in pretended incantations. [1913 Webster] 2. A juggler or trickster. [Archaic] Sir T. Herbert. [1913 Webster] 3. A …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hocus-pocus — Ho cus po cus, v. t. To cheat. [Colloq.] L Estrange. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hocus pocus — Hocus pocus, 1) Wörter, welche Taschenspieler bei ihren Kunststücken aussprechen. Man hat die etymologische Abstammung dieser Formel von hoc est corpus aus dem Missale; od. von dem wallisischen hocced, Betrug; od. dem englischen pocke, Tasche u.a …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Hocus Pocus — Hocus Pocus, S. Hokus Pokus …   Grammatisch-kritisches Wörterbuch der Hochdeutschen Mundart

  • hocus-pocus — mummery, *gibberish, abracadabra …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • hocus-pocus — [n] deception, magic abracadabra*, artifice, cant, chant, charm, cheating, chicanery, conjuring, deceit, delusion, flimflam*, fraud, gibberish, gobbledegook*, hoax, humbug, imposture, incantation, jargon, juggling, legerdemain, mumbo jumbo*,… …   New thesaurus

  • hocus-pocus — ► NOUN 1) meaningless talk used to deceive. 2) a form of words used by a conjuror. ORIGIN from hax pax max Deus adimax, a pseudo Latin phrase used as a magic formula by conjurors …   English terms dictionary

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