Before the 1600s, Open Sesame was a popular opening spell that allowed wizards passage through locked doors, albeit haphazardly, by ripping them from their hinges and tearing them into firewood. With the discovery of Portaberto, however, the act of entering locked doors was made far more discreet: by simply splintering the lock from the door, rendering Open Sesame largely obsolete. Eventually however, even Portaberto was superseded by the Unlocking Charm, which was brought to Britain by Eldon Elsrickle in the 1600s.
In popular culture, "Open Sesame" was a well-known nonsense incantation that allegedly can be used to open doors or passages. The phrase originates from the story "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves."
Behind the scenes
- Coincidentally, one of the incorrect answers for the question "How does Harry get the locket open?" on the Wizard's Challenge at harrypotter.scholastic.com is the non-existent incantation Abrete Sesamo, which is a Spanish translation of Open Sesame.
- Wonderbook: Book of Spells (First mentioned)