hocus-pocus

We all know that hocus-pocus is a term used in magician’s patter, the "magic words" that make the trick happen. But where does the term come from?

The term first appears as the name of a juggler or magician in the early 17th century. From John Gee’s New Shreds of the Old Snare, written in 1624:

I alwayes thought they had their rudiments from some iugling Hocas Pocas in a quart pot.

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