hocus pocussed


a meaningless chant or expression used in conjuring or incantation.
a juggler's trick; sleight of hand.
trickery; deception.
unnecessarily mysterious or elaborate activity or talk to cover up a deception, magnify a simple purpose, etc.
verb (used with object), hocus-pocused, hocus-pocusing or (especially British) hocus-pocussed, hocus-pocussing.
to play tricks on or with.
verb (used without object), hocus-pocused, hocus-pocusing or (especially British) hocus-pocussed, hocus-pocussing.
to perform tricks; practice trickery or deception.

1615–25; pseudo-Latin rhyming formula used by jugglers and magicians

3. deceit, dishonesty, hanky-panky, double-dealing.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hocus-pocus (ˈhəʊkəsˈpəʊkəs)
1.  trickery or chicanery
2.  mystifying jargon
3.  an incantation used by conjurors or magicians when performing tricks
4.  conjuring skill or practice
vb , -cuses, -cusing, -cused, -cuses, -cussing, -cussed
5.  to deceive or trick (someone)
[C17: perhaps a dog-Latin formation invented by jugglers]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1624, 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 Eng. prelate John Tillotson
"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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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