There's nothing like a good baddy, and in this story Ali Baba is up against forty of them.
In fact, if you include Ali Baba's greedy brother Cassim, not to mention Cassim's nosy wife, we have forty two.
As if this weren't enough, we also have the tailor Baba Mustafa, who gets to sew a corpse back together, and, of course, the servant Morgiana (who is not only very clever and very brave but can dance, too) who ends up satisfyingly happy, married, and rich.
All that, and magic words, too.
Word To Use Today: sesame. Nowadays we are so sophisticated that even hamburger joints are no strangers to sesame seeds, but when I was young none of us had a clue that sesame was anything other than a magic word like abracadabra.
My friend Lynda, though, did always have a suspicion that the thieves had Italian accents and were just saying open says-a me.
I do wish that were true, but sesame is, sadly, a plant grown, especially in India, for its seeds.
The word comes from the Greek sēsamē, which is related to the Arabic simsim.