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Magic and Mechanics


A very short voice scribble on the ancient relation between the terms “magic’ and “mechanics.” Down below a bit you will see the etymological research that shows this connection.

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ETYMOLOGIES

magic (n.)

late 14c., magike, “art of influencing or predicting events and producing marvels using hidden natural forces,” also “supernatural art,” especially the art of controlling the actions of spiritual or superhuman beings; from Old French magique “magic; magical,” from Late Latin magice “sorcery, magic,” from Greek magike (presumably with tekhnē “art”), fem. of magikos “magical,” from magos “one of the members of the learned and priestly class,” from Old Persian magush, which is possibly from PIE root *magh- “to be able, have power.”

https://www.etymonline.com/word/magic?ref=etymonline_crossreference

machine (n.)

1540s, “structure of any kind,” from Middle French machine “device, contrivance,” from Latin machina”machine, engine, military machine; device, trick; instrument” (source also of Spanish maquina, Italian macchina), from Greek makhana, Doric variant of Attic mēkhanē “device, tool, machine;” also “contrivance, cunning,” traditionally (Watkins) from PIE *magh-ana- “that which enables,” from root *magh- “to be able, have power.”

Main modern sense of “device made of moving parts for applying mechanical power” (1670s) probably grew out of mid-17c. senses of “apparatus, appliance” and “military siege-tower.” It gradually came to be applied to an apparatus that works without the strength or skill of the workman.

https://www.etymonline.com/word/machine?ref=etymonline_crossreference

mechanics (n.)

“the theory of machines,” also, “the mathematical doctrine of the motions of particles and systems (especially rigid bodies) under the influence of force and constraints,” 1640s, based on Late Latin mechanica, from Greek mekhanikemekhanika

https://www.etymonline.com/word/mechanics#etymonline_v_44464

*magh-

Proto-Indo-European root meaning “to be able, have power.” It forms all or part of: dismay, deus ex machina, machine, magic, mechanic, might.

(v.1) “am able;” might

(n.) “bodily strength, power;”
main, machine, mage, magic, mechanic

Evidence for meaning arises from studies of Sanskrit, Greek, Slavonic, German, Norse,
as well as Old English mæg “I can.”

https://www.etymonline.com/word/*magh-#etymonline_v_52643

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