The etymological sense is disputed. Popularly regarded as harbingers of summer; swallows building nests on or near a house is considered good luck. The Latin name was hirundo, hence the genus name. Some sources propose an onomatopoeic origin, which de Vaan finds "possible, but the suffix remains unclear;" he suggests as more likely the suggestion that the swallow is named for its forked tail, which could connect it with wand (n.), but this is just a guess.
1640s, "dowsing, use of a divining rod" (especially to find things hidden in the earth, ores or underground water), with -mancy "divination by means of" (from Greek manteia "divination, oracle") + Greek rhabdos "rod, wand; magic wand; fishing rod; spear-shaft; a staff of office; a rod for chastisement; twig, stick." Greek rhabdos is from PIE *wer- (2), base of roots meaning "to turn, bend" (source also of Lithuanian virbas "twig, branch, scion, rod," Latin verbena "leaves and branches of laurel").
The Greek noun was used to represent Roman fasces. Related: Rhabdomantic; rhabdomancer.
"to conjure, to guess," originally "to make out by supernatural insight," mid-14c., divinen, from Old French deviner, from Vulgar Latin *devinare, a dissimilation of *divinare, from Latin divinus "of a god," from divus "of or belonging to a god, inspired, prophetic," related to deus "god, deity" (from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine," in derivatives "sky, heaven, god"). Latin divinus also meant, as a noun, "soothsayer." Related: Divined; divining. Divining rod (or wand) attested from 1650s.
also *weig-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to bend, to wind."
It forms all or part of: vetch; vicar; vicarious; vice- "deputy, assistant, substitute;" viceregent; vice versa; vicissitude; weak; weakfish; week; wicker; wicket; witch hazel; wych.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit visti "changing, changeable;" Old English wac "weak, pliant, soft," wician "to give way, yield," wice "wych elm," Old Norse vikja "to bend, turn," Swedish viker "willow twig, wand," German wechsel "change."
in ancient Greece or Rome, "herald's staff," 1590s, from Latin caduceus, alteration of Doric Greek karykeion "herald's staff," from kēryx (genitive kērykos) "a herald," probably a Pre-Greek word. Token of a peaceful embassy; originally an olive branch. Later especially the wand carried by Mercury, messenger of the gods, usually represented with two serpents twined round it and wings. Related: Caducean.
The caduceus is a symbol of peace and prosperity, and in modern times figures as a symbol of commerce, Mercury being the god of commerce. The rod represents power; the serpents represent wisdom; and the two wings, diligence and activity. [Century Dictionary]
Sometimes used mistakenly as a symbol of medicine by confusion with the Rod ofAsclepius, Greek god of medicine, which also features a serpent entwined about a rod but only a single serpent.