"sleight of hand; the performance of feats requiring dexterity and skill, particularly of the fingers," 1843, from French prestidigitation, which was coined along with prestidigitator (q.v.).
early 15c., "conjuring tricks, sleight of hand," from Old French léger de main "quick of hand," literally "light of hand." Léger "light" in weight (Old French legier, 12c.) is from Latin levis "light" (from PIE root *legwh- "not heavy, having little weight"). It is cognate with Spanish ligero, Italian leggiero "light, nimble" (hence also leger line or ledger line in music). Main "hand" is from Latin manus (from PIE root *man- (2) "hand").