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Witch And Wizard

WITCH AND WIZARD. These two words are now [i.e. 1921] generally used of an adept of the black art, a sorcerer, magician, female and male respectively (see MAGIC and WITCHCRAFT). " Witch," formerly of common gender, represents O. Eng. wicca (masc.), wicce (f em.), agent-nouns towiccian, to practise sorcery, probably a causative verb from O. Eng. wican, 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, etc.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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