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Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Simsalabim

Learn the word German magicians say just before they wow the audience with a magic trick.

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Harry Potter would have known just when to say: "Simsalabim!" It's the magic word magicians shout just before they pull that rabbit out of the hat - the German equivalent of abracadabra.

Like most magic tricks, it's not entirely clear where the word comes from. It could be a version of the Muslim invocation of God that made its way into the language in the late Middle Ages; non-Muslims may have thought it was an incantation. Others believe it might stem from the Latin "similia similibus" ("similar things take care of similar things").

Whatever its origins, Simsalabim does the trick!

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