Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Word of the Day

So I subscribe to Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day because I'm a nerd. But what made me laugh were a few key descriptors used by Merriam Webster!

The Word of the Day for July 11 is:

widdershins \WID-er-shinz\ adverb
: in a left-handed, wrong, or contrary direction : counterclockwise

Example sentence: In the book, the members of the coven hold hands and dance widdershins around the fire.

Did you know? By the mid-1500s, English speakers had adopted "widdershins" (which is from the Middle High German "wider," meaning "back against," and "sinnen," meaning "to travel") for anything following a path that is opposite to the apparent direction of the sun as it travels across the sky in the Northern Hemisphere (or opposite the direction of the movement of the shadow on a sundial or the hands on a clock). In its earliest known uses, "widdershins" was used to describe cases of bad hair in which unruly locks stood on end or fell the wrong way. But because many people in times past considered the widdershins direction to be "backwards," it has long been associated with magic, witchcraft, and, sometimes, the devil.
*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

What a great word.
I like the example sentance. I know I'm not the only person out there to enjoy the word of the day, and I wonder how many religious folk find this example offensive. Granted, I think intelligent religous folk don't give a crap, but from some of the people I've met in my life, anything to do with 'covens' is taboo and illegal. I bet they're asking, "Why would they make a devil worship word the word of the day! I'm so upset!" But it doesn't take much, does it? Take Harry Potter or The DaVinci Code as an example to get these people's panties in a bind!

From now on, I am going to use this word when:
describing cases of bad hair in which unruly locks stood on end or fell the wrong way

This word rawks. And everytime my crazy Scooby-Doo co-worker lady (i'm not kidding - she looks and dresses like Velma!) has widdershins, I'm calling her out!


caffeinator_x said...

Thelma, seriously?

Um, can you ask her where she shops?

This and That said...

because caff x would like to buy an outfit for the mrs.......

"widdershins" sounds like a medical condition or a type of clog

Aaron said...

Cas, your widdershins approach to writing this post seems very left-handed, or wrong.

I know bullhonkery when I see it.

S E E Quine said...

` Heh heh!!!

` Whenever someone does something wrong, I can say.... "You're doing it WIDDERSHINS!"
` ...But maybe not so loud.