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2 phrases

Posted by Bob on August 08, 2003

In Reply to: 2 phrases posted by Henry on August 08, 2003

: : : 1.What does the term "critical year" refer to?

: : : 2.Why a "hokey-pokey" means a trick? Where did this word come from?

: : : Thanks!

: : I can't help with 'critical year' but I think I can help a bit with the other phrase.

: : I can't find a certain origin, but the expression can be compared with Hocus Pocus. This is the start of a longer mock Latin phrase used by conjurers with the object of distracting the audience from any slight-of-hand. Our word Hoax is probably derived from this mock-Latin and Hanky Panky and Hockey Pockey are possibly variants.

: Critical year - a very important and influential year. The events of this year will determine the path of a programme or a career in future years.

: Hokey-pokey is also an old term for ice-cream.

The Hokey-Pokey is a song, and a dance, simple enough for children to learn quickly. It's much older than the late, unlamented Macarena. "Hocus Pocus" is a burlesque of the phrase "Hoc est corpus" ("this is my body") which is spoken in the L*tin mass when bread and wine are turned into Christ's body and blood - and transsubstantiation has to qualify as a darn good magic trick. Hocus-pocus evolved to mean any of the distraction schemes that magicians use to make their tricks work.