Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Abracadabra

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ABRACADABRA, a meaningless word once supposed to have a magical efficacy as an antidote against agues and other fevers. Ridiculously minute directions for the proper use of the charm are given in the Præcepta de Medicina of Serenus Sammonicus. The paper on which the word was written had to be folded in the form of a cross, suspended from the neck by a strip of linen so as to rest on the pit of the stomach, worn in this way for nine days, and then, before sunrise, cast behind the wearer into a stream running to the east. The letters of this word were usually arranged to form a triangle in one or other of the following ways: —

ABRACADABRA
ABRACADABR
ABRACADAB
ABRACADA
ABRACAD
ABRACA
ABRAC
ABRA
ABR
AB
A

ABRACADABRA
BRACADABR
RACADAB
ACADA
CAD
A