Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Witch Hazel

The name Witch in witch-hazel has its origins in Middle English wiche, from the Old English wice, meaning "pliant" or "bendable".[5] "Witch hazel" was used in England as a synonym for Wych Elm, Ulmus glabra;[6] American colonists simply extended the familiar name to the new shrub.[citation needed] The use of the twigs as divining rods, just as hazel twigs were used in England, may also have, by folk etymology, influenced the "witch" part of the name.

Forms: OE wice, wic, wyc, ME–16 wyche, 15–17 wich, (15 wi(t)che, wiech, wech(e, weach, 16 weech), 15– wych, witch.... (Show More)
Etymology: Old English wiceand wic; apparently < Germanic wik-to bend (see wike n., week n., weak adj.).... (Show More)
Applied generally or vaguely to various trees having pliant branches: esp.
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†a. the wych elm n., Ulmus montana (of which bows were made).
OED

Contrast

Forms: ME– vice(ME–15 Sc.wice), ME–15 vyce(ME–15 Sc.wyce); ME vise, wise, wisse; ME vys, vijs( vyhs, Sc.vis), 15 vyss, Sc.wys.... (Show More)
Etymology: < Anglo-Norman and Old French vicemodern French vice, = Proven├žal vici, Spanish vicio, Portuguese vicio, Italian vizio), < Latin vitiumfault, defect, failing, etc.... (Show More)
1.
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a. Depravity or corruption of morals; evil, immoral, or wicked habits or conduct; indulgence in degrading pleasures or practices.

OED

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