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magical thinking

illogical reasoning


magical thinking = Der Glaube, dass die eigenen Ideen, Gedanken, Handlungen, Worte oder der Gebrauch von Symbolen den Verlauf der Ereignisse in der materiellen Welt beeinflussen können.



“The end of MAGICAL THINKING. A realistic path to a better relationship between Britain and the EU. Brexiteers have been high on their own pixie dust from the start, whether conjuring up the gains to be had from leaving the EU or wishing away the issue of the Irish border. Remainers, too, succumb to hocus-pocus if they think that the split can be simply undone.”

The Economist - Leader article (5th Jan 2023)

Did you

magical thinking
noun phrase

- the belief that thinking about something or wanting it to happen can make it happen

Cambridge Dictionary


The word “magic” meaning “working or produced by enchantment; having supernatural qualities or powers”, is from the late 14th century, from Old French magique, from Latin magicus, from Greek magikos.

“Magic carpet”, a legendary carpet which would transport a person wherever he wished to go, is attested by 1816. “Magic lantern”, an optical instrument whereby a magnified image is thrown upon a wall or screen, is from the Modern Latin laterna magica from the 1690s.


Horseshoes have long been considered lucky. They were originally made of iron, a material that was believed to ward off evil spirits, and traditionally were held in place with seven nails, seven being the luckiest number.

Opinion is divided as to which way up the horseshoe ought to be nailed. Some say the ends should point up, so that the horseshoe catches the luck, and that the ends pointing down allow the good luck to be lost; others say they should point down, so that the luck is poured upon those entering the home.

Superstitious sailors believe that nailing a horseshoe to the mast will help their vessel avoid storms.


- the performance of tricks that are seemingly magical

abracadabra, alchemy, allurement, artifice, astrology, augury, bewitchery, bewitchment, black art, charm, conjuration, conjuring, conjuring trick(s), conjury, deception, devilry, diablerie, diabolism, divination, enchantment, ensorcellment, fortune-telling, hocus pocus, horoscopy, illusion, illusionism, incantation, jiggery-pokery, jugglery, legerdemain, magic (trick), mojo, mummery, mystification, necromancy, occultism, optical illusion, prediction, presage, prestidigitation, prophecy, rune, sleight of hand, smoke and mirrors, soothsaying, sorcery, spell, superstition, thaumaturgy, trickery, tricks, voodoo(ism), witchcraft, witchery, wizardry

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“Many rational people are susceptable to MAGICAL THINKING,… carrying around lucky charms ... ‘just-in-case’.”

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Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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