Friends.  I have made a monumental discovery.

Errrrrrr... well, not really.  Let's try that again:

Friends!  I have made a discovery that doesn't really have that much intrinsic value, but is cool nonetheless!


You see, I was in the Ancient Studies room the other day doing some research for an upcoming proposal and found the ancient source of the oft-yelled "Abracadabra," especially at birthday parties for 7 year old boys.  And you will not believe it...

Yes, the source is from ancient Judaism!  (See why I study this stuff?!)

In the book Amulets and Superstitions by E. A. Wallis Budge, the author explains that anciently, the abracadabra triangle shown above would be inscribed on an amulet of varying materials in order to cure an invalid from a fever.  Here's what the book had to say on the matter:
The formula ABRACADABRA, which was intended to heal a man suffering from fever, belongs to the same class [of amulets]... Many attempts have been made to find a meaning for the formula, but the explanation put forward by Bischoff in his "Kabbalah" (1903) is most likely to be correct.  He derives the formula from the Chaldee words אבדא כדברא i.e. ABBADA KE DABRA, which seem to be addressed to the fever and to mean something like "perish like the word."  


So, the next time you chant ABRACADABRA to get the bunny in the hat to disappear, just know that you're really telling it to "perish like the word," which isn't very nice at all.


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