Useless (youngwilliam) wrote,

So, I was watching the Stephen King episode of the X-Files the other day (creepy kid with creepy doll. Doll says, "I want to play" every so often and the kid listens to 'The Hokey Pokey' far too often. Doll makes folks do horrible things to themselves).

Hokey-Pokey. You do the hokey-pokey as you turn yourself around, and that is what it is all about.

I suspect that Hokey-Pokey might come from Hocus Pocus. And to quote two websites (for what an E-Reference is worth), "The expression hocus-pocus seems to come from the early 17th century from the patter of an entertainer, who actually called himself hocus-pocus. From a book entitled Candle in the Dark published in 1755 comes this account: “I will speak of a man who went about in King James’s time… who called himself ‘The King’s Majesty’s most excellent Hocus Pocus’, and was so called because at the playing of every trick he used to say: ‘Hocus-pocus, tontus talontus, vade celeriter, jubeo.’” This is a piece of nonsense – a sham Latin formula designed to impress, or simply baffle, his audience. And although the contemporary reports call this man a “juggler” I suspect he may have really been a conjurer (what we call a magician) because the words were largely interchangeable at the time. This appears to be the real source of hocus-pocus." ...and... "Hocus-pocus has been around since the early 17th century. The Oxford English Dictionary tells of a conjurer called Hocus-Pocus who used the phrase as part of a faux-Latin incantation during his act: "Hocus pocus, tontus talontus, vade celeriter jubeo." It's been plausibly suggested that hocus-pocus is a corruption of the genuine Latin words hoc est enim corpus meum, "for this is my body," spoken during the consecration of the Roman Catholic Mass when the wine and wafer are said to be transformed into the body and blood of Christ. Some experts, presumably non-Catholic, think hocus-pocus itself was then corrupted into the word hoax."

Since Juggler and Conjurer were synonymous at the time, and Juggling involves cyclic motion: putting your left foot in, taking your left foot out, putting your left foot in, shaking it all about. Doing Hocus-Pocus as you turn yourself around. Perhaps that's what it's all about.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.