Word of the Week: July 17, 2023

Word of the Week: a bookish meme hosted here on Mondays in which we share a word that we find entertaining, enlightening, edifying, or just plain fun to say! Share your own word on your blog, then help me grow the meme and come share it here on mine!

This week’s word is one I’ve often read but never used in conversation.

Today “widdershins” may be more commonly known as a synonym for “counterclockwise.” But according to Merriam-Webster, it was originally used in a broader sense to mean “in the wrong way or opposite direction.” So if your hair was “standing widdershins,” you were having a bad hair day!

By the mid-1500s, English speakers had adopted widdershins to specifically describe movement opposite to the apparent clockwise direction (as seen from the northern hemisphere) of the sun traveling across the sky, which, at the time, could be considered evil or unlucky. The word originates from the Old High German widar, meaning “back” or “against,” and sinnen, meaning “to travel.”

Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/12-underrated-words-that-deserve-more-love

Have you ever used this word in conversation? I haven’t. It doesn’t seem like one that would flow easily off my tongue. But at least I’ll know what it means when I see it in print!

Got a word you’d like to share? Post your link in the linky below, then share the meme to help it grow! No blog? No worries! Just leave a comment.

This entry was posted in Book Memes, Word of the Week and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.