Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Abracadabra
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.