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Another magic trope that is Older Than Dirt, the idea of words that hold magic power unto themselves has been around since Ancient Egypt. Often paired and sometimes lumped with the power of True Names, words of power are common parts of a wizard's bag of tricks.

Words of Power may be a part of a Language of Magic but are distinct in several ways.

  • Words of power have fairly rigidly defined effects. With the Language of Magic you can write spells while words of power are the spell.
  • While words of power may be part of a Language of Magic, it is not always so, or if they are it may not be explicitly said to be so, or the language in question may be a lost or fragmented one.

Other defining features: words of power tend to be comparatively short utterances - short phrases at most - that one can fire and forget rather quickly instead of a longer incantation. Offensive-leaning words frequently hit For Massive Damage and may be a justification for Calling Your Attacks and Invocation.

In a fairly frequent variation of this, the word itself is variable and the character themself has the ability to imbue it with power. Put enough will and maybe some Applied Phlebotinum behind carefully chosen words and you can potentially deliver spiritual hurting as well as physical. In some visual medium this is sometimes displayed with a Sight Gag of the written word impacting the character.

A subtrope of Language of Magic. Compare to I Know Your True Name (which was split from this). Contrast and compare Magical Incantation. Compare to Brown Note, which includes sounds, images and larger written works that have powerful negative effects on the audience. See also Ritual Magic. Harsh Word Impact is a metafictional version. Also compare Speak of the Devil and The Scottish Trope.

Examples of Words Can Break My Bones include:


  • The Lotis and Maram Words from Yuu Watase's manga Alice 19th.
  • A more literal version of this is in 666 Satan where the character Spika has an O-Part that can materialize words she shouts into them that are like what she says (for example, when she yells "Spikey" the word "Spikey" in Japanese will appear in block letters with spikes coming out).
  • In the 12th movie of Dragon Ball Z, Pikkon finds out that the hold that Janemba, the reality-warping Big Bad, has over the afterlife is weakened by harsh words. So after he releases Enma Daiou, he joins Goku and Vegeta in the battle, and holds Janemba off by cursing at him, breaking apart his face, then firing ki blasts at him.
  • In the 4th arc of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, the character Koichi gets various forms of this as his stand power. What happens is that if his stand hits another person words get written on him or her which start to call out whatever the word is in an increasing volume. Next is when he makes a word and throws it onto something if someone touches the word the effect will take place. (Touching the word Whooosh blows someone away, touching Burn cause someone to catch on fire, and touching Bounce will cause someone to bounce off of whatever the word is one regardless of how sharp the object is normally without harm.
  • In the anime (and original manga) Loveless, characters participate in Spell Battles where words do exactly what they say, restraining, cutting, burning, or banishing opponents. The effectiveness of an attack seems to be directly related to the floweriness or complexity of the spoken "spell".
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, one psychic has the ability to create a territory in which no one can say a taboo word. Anyone who does has their soul ripped out.
    • Before that, it was shown that there are spells based on chanting which will backfire on the caster if the target doesn't hear the words being said.
  • Levy and Fried in Fairy Tail have this power, except their words must be written rather than spoken. Levy writes in English, while Fried writes in a made up rune language. As a result Levy's effects are simple but quick (instantly create a block of metal, or a trap hole, or fire, or wind) while Fried's are complex ("Nobody in this space can use magic." "Nobody can leave the space until everyone else has been defeated") but take time to set up. Levy later learns Fried's language, giving her the ability to rewrite his spells to cancel or change their effects.
    • Elite Mook Yomazu can to this as well, only he writes his in Japanese with his sword. As a result he can abruptly change the effect without rewriting simply by declaring a different meaning of the Kanji.
  • The Words of Awakening in Madlax, which induce homicidal insanity.
  • Skuld from Ah! My Goddess gains the ability to forcefully "print" her words on people or things. While not very powerful, it appears to involve enough force to stagger people. Both Urd and Keiichi are frequent victims of this, with Skuld's favorite insults for them being "idiot" and "pervert", respectively.
  • This appears several times in A Certain Magical Index. In its first form, magicians must first state their magic name to begin using their actual magic. We later see Index in her Johan's Pen mode utter the words "Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani?" literally "God, God, why have you forsaken me?" to power up a spell specifically to destroy Stiyl's Flame Summon. Towards the end, this trope is again invoked when Index interferes with the control spells in place on a golem simply by uttering English letters in certain sequences. This scene also borders on a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • An interesting variation in Mx0: Fumi Izuno's magic object is a calligraphy brush, and her ability is that everything she writes with it acquires reality. For example, in the last Magic Class Match, she and another student are seen fighting a golem, and in a given moment, she writes the word "Defense" in the air with her brush; the words immediately turn into a magic shield that stops one of the golem's fists in front of her.
  • Aphorism is about a supernatural high school where each student must choose a kanji character whose meaning, combined with the power of the student's imagination, will later be used as the student's weapon in various battles and trials.
  • Yuu from Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? is so powerful that she never speaks because her very words can effect reality. She can even kill someone just by speaking the word "die".
  • Arias can kill lesser demons in Blue Exorcist by reciting a "Fatal Verse", a segment from the bible and other holy scriptures. The problem is that there is a different verse for each type of demon (thus you must memorize which verse kills who), and the Aria becomes defenseless until finishing reciting.
  • Kotoha from Yozakura Quartet can create any object, as long as she knows what it's made of, with her words. And she is a MASSIVE fan of WWII Weaponry.

Comic Books

  • Not exactly words per se, but the Anti-life Equation in the DC Universe removes the free will of anyone who hears it. During Final Crisis, Darkseid uses it in a terrifying manner when he enslaves three billion people at once.
    • It's revealed that the Anti-life Equation goes as follows: loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding x guilt x shame x failure x judgment n=y where y=hope and n=folly, love=lies, life=death, self=dark side
    • They should kept have the formula secret.
  • In the Douwe Dabbert story The Witches of the Day Before Yesterday, the dark dunes are controlled by three witches who keep saying "Wij zijn niet van gisteren" ("We weren't born yesterday"). Finally, Douwe figures it all out and declares that they were born the day before yesterday, turning the witches into salamanders.
  • In The Invisibles, the Ancient Conspiracy has suppressed knowledge of the hidden letters of the alphabet and the words that use those letters. Among other things, one of these words works as the universal off switch for the human brain.
  • In Ex Machina, Mitchell's powers work like this, as do Pherson's and Suzanne's.
  • Zatanna can do just about anything by reciting words and sentences backwards. Her cousin Zatarra can also do this although he can't directly affect living things.
  • Nico from Runaways can use the Staff of One to create any magical effect she can describe (usually in one or two words). However, each description can only be used once.


  • The 1984 film adaptation of Dune turns the "Weirding Way" from a super-powered martial art into a method of using words as a weapon, with technological assistance. It took Paul's line "My name is a killing word" and made it literal: saying "Muad'Dib" while holding one of the "Weirding Modules" converts the sound into a sonic blast.
    • In the novel, one of the powers of the Bene Gesserit is the Voice, a manner of speaking that can compel obedience from a person that the speaker understands sufficiently. Paul, being the Kwisatz Haderach, develops this ability to the point where he can indeed kill with it, and threatens to use it on the Reverend Mother Mohiam during the climax unless she stops opposing him.
    • It appears that he can only do this to a Bene Gesserit, as he never even considers using it when his life was in danger during his duel.
      • He hadn't mastered the Voice yet at that time. This was shown when he tries using the Voice on the Harkonnen pilots (and fails).
      • He also explicitly told his mother he didn't want to cheat... It was an honor-bound duel.
      • IIRC, it wasn't the voice at all his mother expected him to use in the duel, rather a trigger word that would cause Feyd to go limp due to mental conditioning. And the reason he didn't resort to it wasn't honor, but rather that he did not want to owe his victory (and thus his life) to the Bene Gesserit, giving them leverage over his authority.
  • The Knights Who Say Ni, keepers of the sacred words "Ni", "Peng", and "Neee-Wom", which appear to cause unbearable agony (or at least mild discomfort) to those who hear them.
    • And are themselves hurt by the word "it".
    • You said it! And now I said it! I said it again! I said it again! I SAID IT AGAIN!
  • Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo - the magic words of the Fairy Godmother in Disney's Cinderella.
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks give us the spell of Substitutiary Locomotion ("giving life to things without"): Treguna Mekoides Trecorum Satis Dee. Which sounds really' creepy when the things the spell animates (like empty suits of armor) start repeating it...
  • In the silent movie The Golem, it is a scroll inscribed with a magic word (Aemaet) that brings the Golem to life. This is consistent with the traditional Golem lore.


  • David Eddings The Redemption of Althalus, where the Books of Deiwos and Daeva are the source of the good guys' and the bad guys' magic respectively. Fun fact: the words themselves are Proto-Indo-European.
    • In his Belgariad/Mallorean series, it's explained that the word is nothing more than a release for the will, hence the magic is the Will and the Word.
      • In the Elenium/Tamuli, the magic turns out to be nothing more than a prayer to the gods for assistance, which takes the form of magic. The Church Knights, given special dispensation to take on non-church tutors in mystical arts are the primary users. This leads to the hilarious revelation later that they probably didn't have to go outside their own religion.
  • In Christopher Paolini's The Inheritance Cycle the elven language is the Language of Magic and spells are more or less words of power taken from it. Want a big fire or an explosive arrow? Just yell "Brisingr!" and you're all done. (So long as you've got access to magic, that is. It won't do you much good otherwise.)
  • In Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, words literally can break bones - the human body and brain can be traumatized by carefully selected words. Of course, it's not that simple - not just any words can kill, but only those linked to "deep connections" in the brain. The language Sumerian works on anyone; binary also works on computer hackers.
  • Jadis (the future White Witch) in The Magicians Nephew knows the Deplorable Word, the word which ends all life in a world - and spoke it to end the world of Charn where she ruled. Luckily for us, it doesn't work in this world.
  • Numair, one of the most powerful mages in the Tortall Universe knows and uses words of power: he once used one to turn an enemy mage into an apple tree. It is not quite a Dangerous Forbidden Technique but very much discouraged because it can create unintended havoc. Good thing he's with the good guys.
    • The consequences are that anything performed by a word of power will cause the opposite reaction somewhere else in the world. So when Numair did the spell, somewhere in the world an apple tree became a person. (There was a short story written about said tree; he had a lot of trouble adapting.)
  • The magic words of the Harry Potter universe probably fit here, although the words alone aren't enough; you've got to be a wizard with a wand and you've got to say them just right and in some cases you've got to have the right willpower behind it. It's not otherwise explained much or known if they're part of a Language of Magic but most of them are pseudo-Latin.
    • Magic can be performed without saying the words but just thinking them, which Snape tried to teach in Half-Blood Prince. It's hard though, so many wizards still use incantations when outside of areas in which a non-verbal spell is required, like a battle.
    • It's even possible to cast spells Wandless, but for an adult wizard and barring instinctive, unconscious magic, it is implied to be VERY difficult to do.
    • Avada Kedavra, the Killing Curse, was based on a twisted interpretation of Abracadabra, as mentioned below. Some translations simply use Abracadabra, in cultures probably where the words have not come to be known as a cheesy magician's catch phrase.
    • More specifically, the Taboo on Voldemort's name goes hand in hand with this trope. A single utterance of a man's name causes the trio to be whisked away perilously to Malfoy Manor and its impending danger.
  • Handled in two ways in Chronicles of the Kencyrath:
    • Brenwyr is a "maledict": if she curses something or someone, the curse becomes real. (At one point, she strikes a table and says "Rot you!". The table promptly crumbles to dust.) She also totters on the edge of being Ax Crazy.
    • The Book Bound in Pale Leather contains Master Runes, which work independently of who reads them. Just copying them is dangerous and will drive you crazy.
  • In the Left Behind book Glorious Appearing, Jesus comes to Earth and kills all of the bad-guys just by proclaiming who He is and reciting Bible verses that cause them to explode in horribly graphic manners. Anvilicious much?
  • In the Dresden Files wizards choose either nonsense words or a dead language as a link to their power, and those become their spells.
    • They COULD pick words in their own language, but this is dangerous, since they could end up conjuring fire by talking in normal conversation. The words gain power as mnemonics - Dresden couldn't light a fire using ancient Egyptian, but since he associated flicking a Bic lighter with a small flame, he used that to come up with a candlelighting spell.
  • The UnWords of Enuncia in Ravenor probably count. The head of the Secretists uses several to very brutally murder a number of people including (if memory serves) the head of Special Crimes; and Patience Kys uses one to escape while being held prisoner by the Secretists. Bonus points for having the UnWords actually hurt the people saying them as well.
  • Miranda Windwood Rose, from the short story of the same name by Janni Lee Simner, is a magic name, letting the owner hear and see magic. This leads to the main character being an outcast.
  • In Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, those who study Earthpower learn various words of power that the cause pain to anything "wrong."
  • Variation in Discworld, overlapping with Numerological Motif: the number between seven and nine is associated with powerful magic, and wizards generally avoid referring to it directly. In The Colour of Magic, one chapter has the characters in the temple of Bel-Shamharoth, where no one can refer to said number for fear of waking him.
  • Kate Daniels knows a few.
  • In the Myst novels, the backstory of the "magical books" is fleshed out; we learn about "mighty words," which if used in the proper context (that is, with the right ink and on the right paper) can modify the linked world. And Earth was originally reached by the D'ni through such a Book.
    • Though the linking process works more akin to a magical search engine, the book seeking out the world that best fits the description given, the words used can also change a world once the link is made, and are described in terms of this trope. In The Book of Atrus, Anna explains about 'levels' of words, the simplest being a description of a thing, the next being a modifier of such a description, i.e. a meta-word. She never says what the third level is, but it's implied to be the performative word, one which alters what it describes.
  • Quantum linguistics in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, used by the Great Old Ones. Remarkably similar to the magic of the Carrionites in "The Shakespeare Code," below.
  • in The Book of All Hours by Hal Duncan - the Cant, the metaphysical language of the Vellum. humans transform into Unkin when an event in their lives causes them to hear the Cant from underneath reality, echoing from the Vellum. Unkin can then use it to reshape reality, warp and change spacetime itself as well as the Vellum.
  • In The Lord of the Rings legendarium, where the world was essentially sung into existence, words and song have great power. Many of the most significant magical acts in the series are not of the fire and brimstone variety, but rather acts of word or song that influence the nature of their surroundings in the speaker's favour. Names also have a power; names such as Elbereth and Earendil are used to repel creatures of the Shadow, and Treebeard warns Merry and Pippin against giving out their right names lightly.
  • A form of this in Tales of Kolmar. Servants of the Goddess Shia in times of great peril can be blessed by Her for an instant, and in that instant She speaks through them, using words they don't understand and don't need to have ever heard before. Nobody knows what they mean, but nothing can stand against them - and when they're spoken in this way, it's said that someone close to the Servant, someone they value dearly, dies within seven days. However, someone can know these words and even say them without either effect. The Goddess speaking these words is the big thing here, not the words themselves.

Live Action TV

  • Doctor Who, "The Shakespeare Code": The Carrionites use words to shape reality; the right words said in the right way at the right time have dramatic effects. Unfortunately for them it works both ways and The Doctor's enlisted the best wordsmith around: Shakespeare. They get an assist from J. K. Rowling too, via Martha: turns out that Expelliarmus! just happens to fit the end of his incantation to banish them nicely.
  • An episode of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger/Power Rangers Samurai has a monster that can read a person's mind, find the most derogatory and damaging insult that person has ever been called, and repeat it to them, converting the emotional pain they suffer from the insult into physical pain. He's only defeated when it's revealed one of our heroes has gotten so used to being insulted in her life that the monster's power can't affect her. Interestingly, the monster is based on a Japanese Obake that, itself, suffers from Words Can Break My reverse: it "feeds" off of a person's inner thoughts, repeating them in the open when they latch onto someone, and only by emptying your mind of all thoughts can you drive away (or even kill) the creature.
    • Of course, the Shinkengers themselves indulge in this trope with their "Mojikara", or "word magic"; essentially, they use traditional Japanese calligraphy (written in the correct brushstroke) to create or invoke certain things, such as summoning a horse by writing out the kanji for "horse". (The Samurai Rangers do the same, but their "Samurai Symbols of Power" haven't yet been acknowledged as an actual language.) The team's Sixth Ranger, unfortunately, sucks at penmanship, so he does his mojikara through cell phone text messages.
  • A variation on Babylon 5: Telepaths, in addition to scanning minds and planting thoughts or visions, can also effectively hit the target's "pain button", making every nerve in their body burst with blinding pain for a few moments. This is typically accompanied by them simply glaring at the other person and hissing "Pain!" It is only allowed to be used in self defense, and it is only used when more effective means, such as guns, are unavailable.


  • In Jewish lore there are ramifications for speaking the True Name of God or erasing the written version. There is also the folklore of the Golem of Prague where the word emet was used to bring life to a piece of earth.
  • The Book of John starts out with "In the beginning was the Word..." This is the authors way of stressing the primacy of Jesus, as the Word of God incarnate.
  • One of the ideas behind Ancient Egyptian magic was the very real potency of words and especially names. Their religious rituals also made use of the principle.

Tabletop Games

  • The "Power Word" spells in Dungeons & Dragons, including the ones for Blind, Kill and Stun. Power Word: Kill is as bad as it sounds: target within range with certain amount of HP/hit dice drops dead, no saving throw.
    • Similar and related are certain rune spells such as Symbol of Death - yep, it's at least as nasty if you step on it.
    • Oh, and the dark speech, as introduced in the Book of Vile Darkness - capable of damaging solid objects and driving people insane, as well as forming a component of seriously nasty (by D&D standards) magic.
    • The power words are just the most famous examples. The Various Splatbooks feature tons of variants on this trope. Warlocks can shatter objects, disable flight, and turn people into frogs just by saying single words of the black speech. The Dracolexi Prestige Class can light people on fire just by speaking Draconic. But the one class that takes this trope to the extreme is the Truenamer from Tome Of Magic, who can temporarily reprogram the universe.
    • Fourth Edition introduced the bard power "Vicious Mockery", which causes psychic damage and is described in fluff as a string of vulgarities and insults, allows a player to literally talk someone to death.
    • I prepared Explosive Runes this morning.
    • Every spell with a verbal component fits the trope. Though most of the damaging ones also require a physical component, there are few non-attack, purely spoken spells that can be cleverly used to break bones.
  • The Words of Power from GURPS: Thaumatology are described as "the ultimate symbols of which all others are merely shadows". Despite their enormous power the Words are cheap (in game terms) to learn because they're impossible to control. "Fire" might do anything from inspire poetry to create a massive explosion or even do both at once.
    • The rules also note that a word of power has a reasonable chance of doing the speaker a serious mischief on the way out.
  • Vampire: The Requiem gives us the Spina bloodline (a line of gentleman/gentlewoman knights who respect the code of the duel and proper combat) and their unique Discipline of Courtosie. At its highest level, it allows you to sass someone so hard, they take damage.
  • Exalted charms can cause this in many different ways. A tongue-lashing can cause very real damage and in the case of some specific charms and combos, a person can be harmed or killed by just reading a letter.

Video Games

  • The game Bookworm Adventures - makes sense given that it's a word game to begin with.
  • The game Mischief Makers also takes the literal approach: you shake negative words to turn them positive and attack with them.
  • The game Scribblenauts and Super Scribblenauts allow you to create any object or objects by writing its words. Some of the words create harmful things (dragon, sword, fire, atomic bomb).
  • Ditto Psychonauts: in the boss fight against Straw Critic Jasper Rolls, he attacks you with the physical embodiment of derogatory adjectives like "tedious" and "monotonous". (It's a Journey to the Center of the Mind, this stuff can happen there.)
  • Similarly, in the RPG Rudra no Hihou, magic is based on entered words... and possible effects for entries that don't have a specific precoded effect involve the word simply attacking enemies, such as flying at them from offscreen or being dropped on them by an eagle.
  • Ultima's and Ultima Online's spell systems use a series of these, fragments of a Language of Magic that are each imbued with a different power according to their meaning. Spells are made by combining them with material reagents.
    • Which turned out to be the normal spoken language of the Gargoyles. Which can give you a headache if you think about it too much.
    • In addition, Ultima V had magic words called Words of Power, magical triggers that undid the sealing spells on the dungeons.
  • World of Warcraft - many of the spells priests learn are like this. Shadow Word: Pain, Power Word: Shield, and Shadow Word: Death, for some examples.
  • VVVVVV. Words can literally kill you.
  • Towards the end of Alan Wake you go into a weird abstract world with a bunch of typewritten words that hover in mid-air. Shining your light on them cause them to manifest the things they represent. For instance, "Exit" will create a way out of the area, or "Red Box" will spawn a supply chest. In the DLC they introduce considerably more dangerous ones, like "Taken", "Birds", and "BOOM!"
  • The scrolls in the Diablo series work this way, with the written words becoming the spell as they're spoken (and consequently, disappearing). The magic books from the first installment may be similar, as they too disappear when used.
  • In Baldur's Gate all casters say three short words in latin before any spell depending on the school, which read less like magical gibberish and more like an invocation.

Abjuration: "Manus, Potentis, Paro" = "A hand, powerful, I prepare"
Alteration: "Praeses, Alia, Fero" = "Protecting, another, I bring this forth"
Conjuration: "Facio, Voco, Ferre" = "This I do, I call, to bring you forth"
Divination: "Scio, Didici, Pecto" = "I know, for I have studied, with my mind"
Enchantment: "Cupio, Virtus, Licet" = "I want, excellence, allowed to me"
Evocation: "Incertus, Pulcher, Imperio" = "Uncertain, beautiful things, I command"
Illusion: "Veritas, Credo, Oculos" = "The truth, I believe, with my eyes"
Necromancy: "Vita, Mortis, Careo" = "Life, and death, I am without"

  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Many Thu'um shouts are capable of harming foes, with things like sending them flying through the air, freezing them with cold, or summoning a storm to fry them with lightning. The Greybeards, an order of monks who have mastered this ability, have to have their least powerful member speak for them so they don't accidentally kill people by uttering a single word.
    • The lore says that he's actually the most powerful member; he has enough experience to speak without inadvertently harming someone.
  • In Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Phoenix Wright can use his iconic "Hold it!" and "Objection!" as attacks that can stun opponents. His level 3 hyper combo consists in him accusing the opponent of being "the one who actually comited the crime", finalizing with a "Take That!" Balloon. This happens to be the second most damaging move in the whole game, only losing out to Vergil's Level 3.
  • Lollipop Chainsaw, an upcoming quirky-fest by Suda51, has this. One of the bosses, Zed the Punk Zombie Rock Lord, can attack by weaponizing profanities. In the boss trailer of the game he yells "COCKSUCKER!!!" into his microphone, summoning the insult as giant words and chucking it at Julliet.

Web Animation


  • Torg of Sluggy Freelance gives Zoë a fancy necklace he found in an Egyptian pyramid that turns out to carry a curse that causes its wearer to transform into a camel when someone in earshot says the word "shupid". Fortunately, the effect can be reversed by speaking another magic word, "kwi". Unfortunately, the necklace, upon being put on, turns into a tattoo on the wearers chest, and cannot be removed.
  • In Rice Boy, the titular character learns to speak a word in the Thrill language. It allows him to cut anything in half.
  • Gordon Frohman of Concerned only survived falling down from the Citadel because he had Buddha mode on (apparently he could use Half-Life 2 cheats by saying them out loud). It didn't prevent him from getting fatal injuries, only from succumbing to them. Of course, saying "buddha" again in such a situation is ill-advised. He learned this the hard way...
  • The word path in Juathuur is one of the three types of magic.

Western Animation

  • "Sim Sim Sala Bim" - the magic words Hadji used all the time on Jonny Quest.
  • Dora the Explorer: "Swiper, no swiping!"
  • American Dad!: "Say Agathor backwards".
  • Played with and subverted in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. While no magic is involved, Billy does tell Spurg the whole "sticks and stones" thing. Then Spurg shows Billy that he indeed has with him sticks and stones.
  • Raven's magical exclmation on Teen Titans: AZARATH METRION ZINTHOS!!

Real Life

  • "Abracadabra" came to us from as far back as the 2nd century CE, believed to be Aramaic (a Semitic language related to Hebrew) in origin, or maybe Arabic, used as a charm against misfortune. In Arabic the meaning was "let the thing be destroyed," while the thing being destroyed was typically illness, or possibly "let it be as I have said." It might also have come from Aramaic first, where abra (אברא) means "to create" and cadabra (כדברא) which means "as I say."