Word of the Week Wednesday: widdershins


This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: widdershins

Widdershins means counter-clockwise or opposite the apparent path of the sun.

In superstition, it is considered an unlucky direction in which to move.

I remember first encountering the word in a book called The Encyclopedia of Superstitions by Richard Webster.

It struck me at the time as quaintly old-fashioned and quasi-mystical (maybe it was the reading material).

More recently, I’ve been reminded of the word when reading Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.  On the Discworld, which is obviously flat and disc-shaped, direction is related not in North, South, East and West but in Hubwise, Rimwise, Turnwise and Widdershins.

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About Dan Kingsepp, ACS, ALS
I'm starting this blog to share my thought on the use of the English language and my experiences as a Toastmaster.

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