Etymology
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git (n.)

"worthless person," 1946, British slang, a southern variant of Scottish get "illegitimate child, brat," which is attested by 1706 ("Gregor Burgess protested against the said Allane that called him a witch gyt or bratt"), according to "Dictionary of the Scots Language"); related to beget on the notion of "what is got." Scots get, gyt, geitt, etc. also can be an affectionate term for a child. 

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wizard (n.)

early 15c., "philosopher, sage," from Middle English wys "wise" (see wise (adj.)) + -ard. Compare Lithuanian žynystė "magic," žynys "sorcerer," žynė "witch," all from žinoti "to know." The ground sense is perhaps "to know the future." The meaning "one with magical power, one proficient in the occult sciences" did not emerge distinctly until c. 1550, the distinction between philosophy and magic being blurred in the Middle Ages. As a slang word meaning "excellent" it is recorded from 1922.

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Wicca (n.)

An Old English masc. noun meaning "male witch, wizard, soothsayer, sorcerer, astrologer, magician;" see witch. Use of the word in modern contexts traces to English folklorist Gerald Gardner (1884-1964), who is said to have joined circa 1939 an occult group in New Forest, Hampshire, England, for which he claimed an unbroken tradition to medieval times. Gardner seems to have first used it in print in 1954, in his book "Witchcraft Today" ("Witches were the Wica or wise people, with herbal

knowledge and a working occult teaching usually used for good ...."). In published and unpublished material, he apparently only ever used the word as a mass noun referring to adherents of the practice and not as the name of the practice itself. Some of his followers continue to use it in this sense. According to Gardner's book "The Meaning of Witchcraft" (1959), the word, as used in the initiation ceremony, played a key role in his experience:

I realised that I had stumbled upon something interesting; but I was half-initiated before the word, 'Wica' which they used hit me like a thunderbolt, and I knew where I was, and that the Old Religion still existed. And so I found myself in the Circle, and there took the usual oath of secrecy, which bound me not to reveal certain things.

In the late 1960s the term came into use as the title of a modern pagan movement associated with witchcraft. The first printed reference in this usage seems to be 1969, in "The Truth About Witchcraft" by freelance author Hans Holzer:

If the practice of the Old Religion, which is also called Wicca (Craft of the Wise), and thence, witchcraft, is a reputable and useful cult, then it is worthy of public interest.

And, quoting witch Alex Sanders:

"No, a witch wedding still needs a civil ceremony to make it legal. Wicca itself as a religion is not registered yet. But it is about time somebody registered it, I think. I've done all I can to call attention to our religion."

Sanders was a highly visible representative of neo-pagan Witchcraft in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During this time he appears to have popularized use of the term in this sense. Later books c. 1989 teaching modernized witchcraft using the same term account for its rise and popularity, especially in U.S.

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pythoness (n.)

late 14c., phitonesse, Phitonissa, "woman with the power of soothsaying," from Old French phitonise (13c.) and Medieval Latin phitonissa, from Late Latin pythonissa, used in Vulgate of the Witch of Endor (I Samuel xxviii.7), and often treated as her proper name. It is the fem. of pytho "familiar spirit;" which ultimately is connected with the title of the prophetess of the Delphic Oracle, Greek pythia hiereia, from Pythios, an epithet of Apollo, from Pythō, an older name of the region of Delphi (see python). The classical spelling was restored 16c.

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broomstick (n.)

also broom-stick, "stick or handle of a broom," 1680s, from broom (n.) + stick (n.). Earlier was broom-staff (1610s). Broom-handle is from 1817. The witch's flying broomstick originally was one among many such objects (pitchfork, trough, bowl), but the broomstick became fixed as the popular tool of supernatural flight via engravings from a famous Lancashire witch trial of 1612. Broomstick marriage, in reference to an informal wedding ceremony in which the parties jump over a broomstick, is attested from 1774.

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shrewd (adj.)

c. 1300, shreued, "wicked, depraved, malicious, evil," from shrewe "wicked man" (see shrew) + -ed. Compare crabbed from crab (n.), dogged from dog (n.), wicked from witch (n.), all from early Middle English.

The weaker or neutral sense of "cunning, sly, artful, clever or keen-witted in practical affairs," hence "acute, sagacious" is recorded from 1510s. Related: Shrewdly; shrewdness. Strutt's "Sports and Pastimes of the People of England" (1801) and a mid-15th century list of terms of association have a shrewdness of apes for a company or group of them. Shrewdie "cunning person" is by 1916.

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yellow (n.)

"the color yellow or one of its hues," Middle English yelwe, from the adjective and from Old English geolo, geolu, "yellow" (n.), from Proto-Germanic *gelwaz (source also of Old Saxon, Old High German gelo, Middle Dutch ghele, Dutch geel, Middle High German gel, German gelb, Old Norse gulr, Swedish gul "yellow"), from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives denoting "green" and "yellow" (such as Greek khlōros "greenish-yellow," Latin helvus "yellowish, bay"). Occasionally in Middle English it was used of a color closer to blue-gray or gray, of frogs or hazel eyes, and as a translation of Latin caeruleus or glauco

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sieve (n.)

"a strainer, simple instrument for separating the finer from the coarser parts of disintegrated matter by shaking it so as to force the former through holes or meshes too small for the latter to pass," Middle English sive, from Old English sife, from Proto-Germanic *sib (source also of Middle Dutch seve, Dutch zeef, Old High German sib, German Sieb), from PIE *seib- "to pour out, sieve, drip, trickle" (see soap (n.)). Related to sift.

The Sieve of Eratosthenes (1803) is an ancient method for finding prime numbers. A sieve is noted as something a witch sails in by 1580s; hence sieve and shears, formerly used in divination.

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*weg- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to be strong, be lively."

It forms all or part of: awake; bewitch; bivouac; invigilate; reveille; surveillance; vedette; vegetable; velocity; vigil; vigilant; vigilante; vigor; waft; wait; wake (v.) "emerge or arise from sleep;" waken; watch; Wicca; wicked; witch.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit vajah "force, strength," vajayati "drives on;" Latin vigil "watchful, awake," vigere "be lively, thrive," velox "fast, lively," vegere "to enliven," vigor "liveliness, activity;" Old English wacan "to become awake," German wachen "to be awake," Gothic wakan "to watch."

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witchcraft (n.)

Old English wiccecræft "witchcraft, magic," from wicce (see witch) + cræft "power, skill" (see craft).

Witchcraft was declared a crime in English law in 1542, at the beginning of the Protestant era; trials there peaked in the 1580s and 1640s but fell sharply after 1660. The last, in 1717, ended in acquittal. The Witchcraft Act was repealed 1736. Lecky ("Rationalism in Europe," 1866) examines Hutchinson and Buckle and concludes that belief in witchcraft and sorcery had been common in England even among the most educated at the time of the Restoration in 1660. By 1688, the majority disbelieved it; by 1718 the minority was reduced to the ignorant and an insignificant section of the clergy. 

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