from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The word "please,” used as a reminder or prompt to say "please”: Say the magic word, and I'll give you a cookie.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any word that has a magical effect when uttered.
  • n. Mnemonic of the word please.


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    Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • Magic words are words which have a specific, and sometimes unintended, effect. They are often nonsense phrases used in fantasy fiction or by stage prestidigitators. Certain comic book heroes use magic words to activate their super powers.

    Abracadabra - prototypical magic word used by magicians


    Cei-u used by the DC Comics superhero, Johnny Thunder, to summon his magical genie-like Thunderbolt

    Hocus pocus - a phrase used by magicians

    Klaatu barada nikto - A phrase used in the 1951 movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still"

    Open sesame - used by the character Ali Baba in the English version of a tale from the collection popularly known as 1001 Arabian Nights

    Presto chango or Hey Presto - used by magicians (probably intended to suggest "quick change")

    Sim Sala Bim a phrase used by magicians; popular in the 19th Century. Also, "Sim Sim Sala Bim" are the magic words said by Hadji on the shows The Adventures of Jonny Quest and The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest.

    Shazam - used by the comic book hero Captain Marvel

    Izzy wizzy, let's get busy - Used on The Sooty Show when using Sooty's magic wand.


    January 25, 2008