86th Annual Scholarship Drive

Student-driven fundraiser with a $50,000 grand prize drawing on March 1, 2024

Saint Ignatius High School

Etymology Word of the Week

As some of you know, in addition to being the Director of Admissions, Pat O'Rourke '90 also teaches Latin at Saint Ignatius and is a self-proclaimed "word nerd." Here is his latest Etymology Word of the Week.
Hocus-Pocus - somewhat nonsensical phrase used in magic and conjuring; interestingly, it may come from a phrase used in the Latin Mass (which was then corrupted in a condescending way by non-believers).  That Latin phrase is "Hoc est corpus (meum)," which means "This is my body."  When said quickly (after dropping the meum), this phrase sounds quite a bit like "Hocus-Pocus."  (All information is from www.wikipedia.org, www.etymonline.com and/or www.dictionary.com).

RELATED WORDS/PHRASES – perhaps Hokey Pokey and Hanky-Panky.
Sample sentence – "In one of my favorite Looney Tunes episodes, Bugs Bunny turns a vampire into a bat by yelling 'Hocus-Pocus'."

ABBREVIATION OF THE WEEK:  E.G. (exempli gratiā) - e.g. means "for the sake of example" and is used to indicate that whatever follows is an example of something previously stated. Exempli is a genitive singular Latin noun that means "example" and gratiā is a Latin preposition that means "for the sake of" and takes the genitive case for its objects.

GUESS THE APHORISM OF THE WEEK:  Neither a borrower... (scroll for the answer)

...nor a lender be.   (the speaker is Polonius, in Shakespeare's Hamlet)