What's in a Word | All Blogs

A handy French word

By Debra Dobbins

Today’s editorial uses the French word legerdemain.

It comes from the practice of a sleight of hand by a magician. In the early 1500s, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it meant “conjuring tricks.” The dictionary citation also notes that the word came from Middle French léger de main, which meant “quick of hand” or, more precisely “light of hand.”

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