hocus-pocus (interj.)

1630年代, 更早的 Hocas Pocas, 魔术师或杂耍者的通称(1620年代); 杂耍者使用的一种假拉丁语的咒语, 也许是基于对弥撒中圣礼祝福的歪曲, Hoc est corpus meum “这是我的身体”. 最先对其起源做出这种推测的显然是英国牧师约翰-提洛森(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]

比较 hiccus docciushiccus doctius, “杂耍者在表演功法时使用的公式” (1670年代), 也是对杂耍者的俗称, OED说这是“猜测是拉丁文 hicce es doctus” “这里有学问的人” 的腐败, “如果不只是模拟拉丁文的无厘头公式”. 也可比较 holus-bolus (副词) “一口气, 一下子就到了”, 《世纪词典》称其为“A varied redupl. of whole, in sham-Latin form”. 作为一个意为“杂耍者的把戏” 的名词, hocus-pocus 从1640年代就有记载.

Definitions of hocus-pocus

hocus-pocus (n.)
verbal misrepresentation intended to take advantage of you in some way;
Synonyms: trickery / slickness / hanky panky / jiggery-pokery / skulduggery / skullduggery