Wednesday, September 13, 2006


From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, The Classic Edition by E. Cobham Brewer, originally published in 1870, current edition undated published by Tess Press:

Prestige--This word has a strangely metamorphosed meaning. The Latin proestigioe means juggling tricks, hence prestidigitateur (FR.), one who juggles with fingers. We use the word for that favourable impression which results from good antecedents. The history of the change is this: Juggling tricks were once considered a sort of enchantment; to enchant is to charm, and to charm is to win the heart.

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