Is ‘Abracadabra’ a biblical magic spell?

| Linda Brown | Word & Idioms



Abracadabra is an ancient magic incantation that survived the test of time and is used even in today’s magic performance. 

It is believed to derive from Aramaic and Hebrew phrase, ‘Avra Cadavra’ meaning “I create as I speak.” or “it came to be”. Namely, it refers to God’s power of creation by speaking and specifically his creation of the world as described in the Book of Genesis 1:3: “Then God said, “let there be light, and there was light”. 

Mind you that in Hebrew the letters B and V are written the same (ב=B=V), which explains how Avra became Abra.  

Historically abracadabra was believed to have healing powers when inscribed on an amulet and other lucky charms.

Bonus Fact: In the Harry Potter books, the magic word ‘Avada Kedavra’ is used as a curse that kills whoever it harms. In Harry’s world, it is one of three curses that have no forgiveness and its use is punishable by life imprisonment in the magicians’ prison, Azkaban. 

‘Avada’ in Hebrew means lost and ‘Avada Kedavra’ will lose (or get lost) as I speak, which can be construed as lose your life.