Magic Quotations (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 11 02:53:33 UTC 2010

But "flight of hand" seems (to me at least) to deliberately evoke "sleight
of hand".

m a m

On Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 8:14 PM, Garson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at>wrote:

> Thanks for the great cites for the classic phrase used in magic.

> Here is an entertaining example from 1796 that follows the theme of
> "hands quicker than the eye" but does not use the full phrase. Nor
> does it involve a magician or a card cheat:
> Cite: 1796 November, The European magazine: and London review,
> "Desultory Remarks on the Study and Practice of Music, Addressed to a
> Young Lady While Under the Tuition of an Eminent Master, Written in
> the Years 1790 - 1 and 2."  Page 357, Philological Society, London.
> (Google Books full view)
> In the brilliant stile of play Celerio is recherche in the extreme,
> and, as a *flight-of-hand* performer, au fait to a degree of luxuriance
> which none have yet attained, and wherein no one can exceed him. From
> the very lowest to the uppermost key, and back again, he is quicker
> than the eye can follow him, or the ear catch the sounds produced in
> this flight des les doigts.
> Garson

The American Dialect Society -

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