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'Expecto patronum!' What Harry Potter's magic words really mean

A new short video lets you in on the meaning behind the magic for six of the spells used in the Harry Potter universe.

Why, yes. This magic charm is a Sidiki word from West Africa used in geomancy. Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET

If the fantastical words uttered by characters in the Harry Potter movies to cast spells always seemed vaguely familiar as real language, that's because they are -- and a new quick video from BuzzFeed traces the roots of some of the most popular incantations, like: "Expelliarmus" (the disarming spell), "Sectumsempra" (a slashing curse) and everyone's favorite, "Alohomora" (the unlocking charm).

Check out the video below and you'll be able to learn the etymology of six different magic words from the Potter universe in just about a minute and a half. If that only fires up your thirst for more, check out the list of spells on the Harry Potter Wiki, where you'll find detailed explanations of hundreds of other incantations. But, like the BuzzFeed video says, "Please enjoy magic responsibly."