Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Abracadabra

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ABRACADABRA, a magical word among the ancients, recommended as an antidote against several diseases. It was to be written upon a piece of paper as many times as the word contains letters, omitting the last letter of the former every time, and suspended from the neck by a linen thread. It was the name of a god worshipped by the Syrians, the wearing of whose name was a sort of invocation of his aid. At present, the word is used chiefly in jest, to denote something without meaning.

Source: Collier's New Encyclopedia 1. (1921) New York: P.F. Collier & Son Company. 10.