1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Witch and Wizard
|←Witan||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 28
Witch and Wizard
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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,” formerly of common gender, represents O. Eng. wicca (masc.), wicce (fem.), agent-nouns to wiccian, to practise sorcery, probably a causative verb from O. Eng. wícan, to give way (cf “weak“), and therefore signifying to avert (evil), conjure away So Norweg. vikja means (1) 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.