i was looking up these two words in Longman dictionary of modern aramuseum.org:





It"s mentioned in the Word origin section that Wizard originates from "Wise", while because that "Witch" it totally has a an unfavorable meaning, and also all in all, except this definition, witch is normally negative, while wizard is neutral (or also positive sometimes?!). Isn"t this rather sexist?

P.S. Both words imply the very same occupation, where the female variation is an unfavorable and the male one is simply neutral or also positive. Is that only bad if a mrs does it?!

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edited Oct 10 "16 at 17:14

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I have actually viewed witch offered in a male sense as well.

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If us look in ~ etymonline, it offers the complying with definitions:


Old aramuseum.org wicce "female magician, sorceress," in later on use especially "a woman claimed to have actually dealings through the evil one or angry spirits and to be able through their teamwork to do supernatural acts," fem. Of Old aramuseum.org wicca "sorcerer, wizard, male who techniques witchcraft or magic," native verb wiccian "to exercise witchcraft" (compare short German wikken, wicken "to use witchcraft," wikker, wicker "soothsayer").

(note that the entrance is lot longer and also that the beginnings are in reality not an extremely clear!)


early 15c., "philosopher, sage," from middle aramuseum.org wys "wise" (see wise (adj.)) + -ard. Compare Lithuanian zynyste "magic," zynys "sorcerer," zyne "witch," every from zinoti "to know." The ground sense is probably "to know the future." The meaning "one v magical power, one proficient in the occult sciences" walk not arise distinctly till c.1550, the distinction between philosophy and also magic gift blurred in the middle Ages. Together a slang word meaning "excellent" it is tape-recorded from 1922.

There appears to have been, based upon the assumed origins, a difference between "good magic" connected to knowledge and also wisdom for wizard, and "bad magic" linked to "heathen practices".

It appears far-fetched to in reality take wizard just as a male variation of witch and also vice-versa. The etymonline entry for witch, as well as the OED (thank girlfriend Peter Shor) show that the male variation of wicce was wicca. They to be people connected in witchcraft, magic— mythological things, rather than wisdom (wizard).

They seem come denote comparable but various occupations, among which became mainly associated with man, the other with women.About the an adverse connotations that surround the "female" version... Yes, the is sexist. And this is a very common occurrence in (many) language(s). Even though (and ns am glad) this is often frowned ~ above by many world nowadays, and also many speakers often tend to stop making distinctions between male and also female practitioners that the very same profession, in the past it was an extremely common to check out a clean (quality) difference between the male and female versions.

Even nowadays, if one reads these lines:

John is a secretary. Mary is a secretary.

There will certainly be many of world assuming that john sits on a board or a committee, while mar is a an individual assistant. (The distinction is also "worse" in languages that usage a distinct version that the word, choose in dutch "secretaris" and "secretaresse" — the latter is grammatically the woman version, yet in reality denotes a different job!)

Compare additionally "steward" to "stewardess".

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It is a straightforward fact that language exhibits sexist (and sometimes racist and otherwise discriminatory) tendencies. That might be unfortunate, but it must be hardly surprising.