Saturday, July 5, 2008


I checked this great magic book out of the library and read a magic word that’s never supposed to fail. Can you keep a secret? . . . The magic word is Wizzlewuzzlewoozle. . . . Just say Wizzlewuzzlewoozle. . . . Then you wish for whatever you want and count to three.
—Walter Minkel, How to Do “The Three Bears” with Two Hands (2000)
This magic word is a three-part spell; wizzle refers to obtaining through cunning,* wuzzle means “to mingle”† (or muddle, as in “wuzzle-headed”), and woozle is “the product of force and distance.”‡ Woozle is popularly known in the context of A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories, as an entity whose existence is known from its tracks.

* Thomas Wright, Dictionary of Obsolete and Provincial English (1886)
† Jeffrey Kacirk, The Word Museum (2001)
‡ David Chapman, qtd. in Jerry J. Wellington, Practical Work in School Science (1998)

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