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August 04, 2008

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Presto change-o: Some interesting words with derivations from magic:

--Prestige, in the 1600s, was a trick, an illusion, particularly those of jugglers and conjurers. You can see the word prestige in a word for the magician's art--prestidigitation. These words have mutual origins through French from Latin, ultimately from a phrase meaning “blindfold the eyes.”

--Glamour, in its earliest sense in the 1700s, was magical enchantment, a spell.

--Charm originally meant “a spoken incantation or chant to call magics.”

--Fascinate, by the late 1500s and until the mid 1600s, meant “to bewitch or charm with magical spell.”

--Mascot comes from French mascotte, "sorceror's amulet or charm."

And with that, I saw this post in half and let David Copperfield make me disappear.

One of my favorite passages from recent reading included this word. (The full passage is quoted at the link from my name) -- "This singular creator, whose name we forget, probably did not know about or did not have sufficient confidence in the thaumaturgic efficacy of blowing air into the nostrils..."

@Bill and @The Modesto Kid: Thank you! "Fascinate" shows up in the world of fashion, too, but not necessarily in the way you might think. A "fascinator" is a feathered or beaded headpiece attached to the hair with a comb. See examples here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascinator
And here are some DIY kits:
http://tinyurl.com/5lch3x

Thank you for your review of my delicatessen performance; I did not realize that it was thaumaturgic.

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