Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Akos Pakos

In a fifteenth-century German-Jewish manuscript, a magical formula of mystical names is spelled out. “One of the incantations in it . . . contains the names ‘Akos Pakos,’ the earliest literary occurrence of the terms which, with slight orthographic variations, have become the hallmark of pseudo-magic in a dozen European tongues—our Hocus Pocus” (Joshua Trachtenberg, Jewish Magic and Superstition, 1939).

1 comment:

Tamara said...

Interesting that both hocus pocus and abracadabra appear to have Jewish origins.