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Hocus-pocus   Listen
verb
Hocus-pocus  v. t.  To cheat. (Colloq.)






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Hocus-pocus" Quotes from Famous Books



... with all the expenses of a distraint and sale—the most expensively conducted of any distraints and sales under the British crown. He thought to recover damages for all this loss; but he was not able to pay his rent in addition to all this, when it became due; and thus, by some hocus-pocus of the law, the two cases became so mingled together ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 343, May 1844 • Various

... was nothing on it, not even a mat. He laid a plain piece of wood on the floor and motioned us to be seated in front of it; so we squatted in a line with our backs to the door, King taking his place between the Mahatma and me. There was no hocus-pocus or flummery; the whole proceeding was as ...
— Caves of Terror • Talbot Mundy

... the senseless hocus-pocus of its triads, utterly fails to prove his position. The only evident compulsion which representations exert upon one another is compulsion to submit to the conditions of entrance into the same universe with them—the conditions ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... only done to smoke us; Don't be so serious, my man! She must, as Doctor, play her hocus-pocus To make the dose work better, that's the plan. [He constrains FAUST to step ...
— Faust • Goethe

... What was it that LEDEBOUR said of it? Did he not describe it as "a political hocus-pocus"? Such men ought to be at once taken out and shot. But we Prussians have always been too gentle in ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Sept. 5, 1917 • Various

... as were their opponents. What was to be gained but the poor interval of three months? There were clever men who suggested that Mr. Daubeny had a scheme in his head—some sharp trick of political conjuring, some "hocus-pocus presto" sleight of hand, by which he might be able to retain power, let the elections go as they would. But, if so, he certainly did not make his scheme known to ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... or mutual change.] Interchange — N. interchange, exchange; commutation, permutation, intermutation; reciprocation, transposition, rearrangement; shuffling; alternation, reciprocity; castling (at chess); hocus-pocus. interchangeableness^, interchangeability. recombination; combination &c 48. barter &c 794; tit for tat &c (retaliation) 718; cross fire, battledore and shuttlecock; quid pro quo. V. interchange, exchange, counterchange^; bandy, transpose, shuffle, change bands, swap, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... great deal of smoke, a puzzling quantity, if there be no fire, and that either human nature is very easily deluded by simple conjuring tricks, or that, in all stages of culture, minds are subject to identical hallucinations. The whole hocus-pocus of 'spirit-writing' on slates and in pellets of paper, has been satisfactorily exposed and explained, as a rather simple kind of leger-de-main. But this was a purely modern sort of trickery; the old universal class of useless miracles, said to occur spontaneously, still presents ...
— Cock Lane and Common-Sense • Andrew Lang

... order to record their own deeds." The Changes are quoted in history often enough by statesmen, as well as the Odes and the Book; but, even if the First August Emperor did not entertain the suspicion that the first were (as, indeed, they are according to our Western lights) all "hocus-pocus," he was himself very credulous and superstitious, and the learned word-juggling of the Changes was in any case harmless to him; so that really his rage was confined to the four or five books, known by heart throughout China, setting forth the ancient ...
— Ancient China Simplified • Edward Harper Parker

... how some of these women get along. Very few make over two dollars a week, and some never go beyond a dollar. Many of them are mothers, and most of them have some one or more dependent upon them. Food, rent, clothes, and fuel, all have to come out of these small earnings By what hocus-pocus it is done, I must confess, puzzles ...
— Lizzy Glenn - or, The Trials of a Seamstress • T. S. Arthur

... lofty-souled, the pure-hearted, who passed from counting-house to laboratory, and studied Sanscrit for recreation, moriturus te saluto. And thou, too, Markus, with thy boy's body, and thy old man's look, and thy encyclopaedic, inorganic mind; and thou, O Gans, with thy too organic Hegelian hocus-pocus. Yes, the Rabbis were right, and the baptismal font had us at last; but surely God counts the will to do, and is more pleased with great-hearted dreams than with the deeds of the white-hearted burghers of virtue, whose goodness is essence of gendarmerie. And where, ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... is almost needless to point out, are much more cautious about embracing the conventional hocus-pocus of the situation. They never acknowledge that they have fallen in love, as the phrase is, until the man has formally avowed the delusion, and so cut off his retreat; to do otherwise would be to bring down upon their heads the mocking and contumely of all ...
— In Defense of Women • H. L. Mencken

... for this reason I need music. But Wagner makes one ill—What do I care about the theatre? What do I care about the spasms of its moral ecstasies in which the mob—and who is not the mob to-day?—rejoices? What do I care about the whole pantomimic hocus-pocus of the actor? You are beginning to see that I am essentially anti-theatrical at heart. For the stage, this mob art par excellence, my soul has that deepest scorn felt by every artist to-day. With a stage success a man sinks to such ...
— The Case Of Wagner, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Selected Aphorisms. • Friedrich Nietzsche.

... as a kind of bogey. For years they've been teaching the natives that a red-coat is a kind of sacred monkey that all must bow down to. And you forget you're only a man like the rest of us. When you meet a man who isn't scared off by all this hocus-pocus it comes pretty hard on you. You have to ...
— The Woman from Outside - [on Swan River] • Hulbert Footner

... to raise! Pray don't be so fastidious! She But as a leech, her hocus-pocus plays, That well with you her potion may agree. (He compels FAUST ...
— Faust Part 1 • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... that trial. He's fled back to his cell and stands there as dignified as if he was going to lay a cornerstone. He's a grave rebuke to the whole situation, as you might say. Then the Judge and Cale go through some kind of a hocus-pocus talk, winding up with both of them saying 'Not guilty!' in a loud voice; and Myron says to Pete: 'There! You had your trial; now get out of ...
— Somewhere in Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... have found it in me to laugh at the whole miserable hocus-pocus, had I been less indignant. The situation was, besides, sufficiently grave; and as I listened to this silly and profane juggling, and observed the wildness of my grandfather's bearing, it became plain to me that he could not long endure such an influence. I guessed from his ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908 • Various

... term the hocus-pocus side of the case," he replied, "turns on matters Egyptian, doesn't it? Very well. Who else, that we know about, is associated, or ever has been ...
— The Green Eyes of Bast • Sax Rohmer

... all this hocus-pocus about the ha'nt, that is easily explained. He needed a scapegoat on whom to turn the blame when the bonds should disappear; so he and this Cat-Eye Mose between them invented a ghost. The negro is a half crazy fellow who from the first has been young Gaylord's tool; I don't think he knew ...
— The Four Pools Mystery • Jean Webster

... certain expectation for a conviction. Now it needed not repetition, for it forced itself upon his consciousness, and he seemed to KNOW, even before the jury retired to consult, that by some trick, some negligence, some miserable hocus-pocus, the murderer of his child, his darling, his Absalom, who had never rebelled—the slayer of his unburied boy would slip through the fangs of justice, and walk free and unscathed over that earth where his son would never more ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... weel-sharpened, old, Highland, forty-second Andrew Ferrary, in single combat; whereupon, as might reasonably be expected, he would, in the twinkling of a farthing rushlight, fall down as dead as a bag of sand; yet, by their rictum-ticktum, rise-up-Jack, slight-of-hand, hocus-pocus way, would be on his legs, brushing the stour from his breeches knees, before the green curtain was half-way down. James Batter himself once told me, that, when he was a laddie, he saw one of these clanjamphrey go in behind ...
— The Life of Mansie Wauch - Tailor in Dalkeith, written by himself • David Macbeth Moir



Words linked to "Hocus-pocus" :   skulduggery, jiggery-pokery, slickness, trickery, hanky panky, misrepresentation



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