hocus-pocus

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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-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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Hocus Pocus ★★½ 1993 (PG)

The divine Miss M is back, but this time she's not so sweet. Midler, Najimy, and Parker are 17th century witches accidentally conjured up in the 20th century, appropriately enough on Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts. Seems they were hung 300 years back and they take their revenge in some surprisingly gruesome ways, given the Disney label. They rant, they rave, they sing (only once), they fly. See this one for the three stars who make up for the lack of substance with their comedic talents. 95m/C VHS, DVD . Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thora Birch, Doug Jones, Omri Katz, Vinessa Shaw, Stephanie Faracy, Charles Rocket; Cameos: Penny Marshall, Garry Marshall; D: Kenny Ortega; W: Neil Cuthbert, Mick Garris; M: John Debney.

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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 †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 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.