One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Deceive (someone)‘these people have been hocussed and cheated by the government’
- ‘I think you were hocused by the telephoto lens that was apparantly used to take the photograph you are referring to.’
- ‘These surfers have hocused the Feds for long enough.’
- ‘This applies particularly to commercial albumin, especially egg, which is hocused to a great extent by the unscrupulous.’
2Stupefy (someone) with drugs, typically for a criminal purpose.‘he was hocussed at supper and lost £800’
- ‘But I was one night suspected of hocussing and robbing a sailor, and - though if I was on my death-bed I could swear that I never had any hand in the affair at all - I was so blown upon that I was forced to shift my quarters.’
Late 17th century: from an obsolete noun hocus ‘trickery’, from hocus-pocus.
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