MEANING: noun: An escape artist.
verb intr.: To escape.

ETYMOLOGY: After Harry Houdini (1874-1926), a magician and escape artist. Earliest documented use: 1923.

NOTES: Houdini was born as Ehrich Weiss, but he admired the French magician Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin so changed his name. His nickname Ehri became Harry. Watch a Houdini straitjacket escape in Houston, 1923: (video, 3 min.). How did he do his magic tricks and escapes? Read all about it here. In his later years, Houdini devoted his life to debunking psychics, mediums, and other fraudsters. He worked with the Scientific American magazine to expose them.

HOUNDINI - dog-shaped pasta

HOUDING - present participle of to houd

FOUDINI - Magician/Portrait featured in the 1950s kids' TV program featurng puppets, 5 PM weekdays in the New York City area, Pinhead and Foudini. His magic word was not "Abracadabra" but "LY-CO-PO-DIUM !" accompanied, unsurprisingly, by a flash of light and a puff of smoke.