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hocus-pocus

ho·cus-po·cus / ˈpōkəs/ • n. meaningless talk or activity, often designed to draw attention away from and disguise what is actually happening: some people still view psychology as a lot of hocus-pocus. ∎  a form of words often used by a person performing magic tricks. ∎  deception; trickery. • v. (-po·cused, -po·cus·ing or Brit. -po·cussed, -po·cus·sing) [intr.] play tricks. ∎  [tr.] play tricks on, deceive. ORIGIN: early 17th cent.: from hax pax max Deus adimax, a pseudo-Latin phrase used as a magic formula by conjurors.

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Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus

Words of pseudomagical import. According to Sharon Turner in The History of the Anglo-Saxons (4 vols., 1799-1805), they were believed to be derived from "Ochus Bochus," a magician and demon of the north. It is more probable, however, that they are a corruption of the Latin hoc est corpus (this is my body), words spoken during the act of transubstantiation in the Roman Catholic Mass. The term has been used since the seventeenth century as a preface to the tricks of conjuring magicians. Conjurers used to introduce tricks with the sham Latin formula, "Hocus pocus, tontus talontus, rade celeriter jubeo."

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hocus pocus

hocus pocus †conjurer, juggler; conjuring formula; jugglery, trickery. XVII (hocas pocas, hokos pokos). Based ult. on hax pax max Deus adimax (XVI), pseudo-L. magical formula coined by vagrant students.
Hence as vb. juggle, hoax. XVII. Also, by shortening, hocus †sb. juggler; jugglery. XVII; vb. play a trick upon XVII; drug XIX. cf. HOAX.

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hocus-pocus

hocus-pocus deception, trickery (words often used by a person performing conjuring tricks). The expression comes (in the early 17th century) from hax pax max Deus adimax, a pseudo-Latin phrase used as a magic formula by conjurors.

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hocus-pocus

hocus-pocusBacchus, Caracas, Gracchus •Damascus •Aristarchus, carcass, Hipparchus, Marcus •discus, hibiscus, meniscus, viscous •umbilicus • Copernicus •Ecclesiasticus • Leviticus • floccus •caucus, Dorcas, glaucous, raucous •Archilochus, Cocos, crocus, focus, hocus, hocus-pocus, locus •autofocus •fucus, Lucas, mucous, mucus, Ophiuchus, soukous •ruckus • fuscous • abacus •diplodocus • Telemachus •Callimachus • Caratacus • Spartacus •circus

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