Online Encyclopedia

WITCH

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 755 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WITCH and WIZARD. These two words are now generally used of an adept of the black art, a sorcerer, magician, female and male respectively (see MAGIC and WITCHCRAFT). " Witch," I formerly of common gender, represents O. Eng. wicca (masc.), wicce (fern.), agent-nouns to wiccian, to practise sorcery, probably a causative verb from O. Eng. wiccn, to give way (cf " weak "), and therefore signifying to avert (evil), conjure away So Norweg. vikja means (I) to turn aside, (2) to exorcise. The participial " wicked " means witch-like. " Wizard " is formed from " wise," with the slightly contemptuous Anglo-French suffix -ard, as in drunkard, laggard, sluggard, &c.
End of Article: WITCH
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