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"Works like a Charm"

Posted by R. Berg on December 21, 2001

In Reply to: "Works like a Charm" posted by Kirby on December 20, 2001

: I'm trying to find where the phrase "it works like a charm" comes from. Can someone please help me?

I haven't been able to find anything about the history of this phrase. A charm was originally a magic spell in the form of a chant or verse recited to make something happen. Later the word came to mean an amulet. So "It works like a charm" means "It works like magic." Whether that is a recommendation depends on how effective the speaker believes magic is; but I don't know where or when people first said it. Probably when belief in magic was more common.