Friday, February 19, 2010

Etymology of Hag


From witches to old maids, the modern hag is The term "hag" shares its etymology with the adjective "haggard," meaning an appearance that is both wild and distraught as well as worn and exhausted, or gaunt. These terms are rooted in the Old French faulcon hagard, meaning wild falcon. If you can imagine the wild look in the eyes of newly captured falcon, you can get a good sense of the original meaning of the term. Some time later, it appears that this sense of the word was influenced for the Lower Germanic term "hager," meaning gaunt. The world weary sense of the modern haggard hag did not appear until around 1690's, and both terms have sense been influenced by contemporary culture to denote a peculiar type of haunted expression that comes only with a lifetime of loneliness.

It appears that the origin of hag is very closely associated with hedge, haw and hay and is related to the borders of the wilderness, where wild falcons and other birds would feed on the hagberries and hawthorns. In Old English there are a variety of terms like haegtesse, hegge and hagge that are used to describe female demons, with clear senses of described a wild woman of the woods. It is unclear exactly why the term lost its sense of wildness when used to denote an unmarried woman, but this appears to have occurred around the 17th century and would be an interesting topic to do a little cultural analysis on.

7 comments:

  1. Generally I don't read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great post.

    www.gofastek.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really enjoyed reading your article. I found this as an informative and interesting post, so i think it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the effort you have made in writing this

    article.


    farra
    edupdf.org

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love it! Very interesting topics, I hope the incoming comments and suggestion are equally positive. Thank you for sharing this information that is actually helpful.


    ufgop.org
    ufgop.org

    ReplyDelete
  4. Every woman deserves a man that will love her, understand her and comfort her despite of her flaws and imperfections. True love does not have conditions thus faith and trust. I hope I was able to inspire you with my thoughts if you have some time you can visit my site. Have a nice day always, Cheers!

    triciajoy.com

    www.triciajoy.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like the way on how you put up your blogs. Wonderful and awesome. Hope to read more post from you in the future. Goodluck. Happy blogging!

    Bubble
    www.gofastek.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really enjoyed reading your article. I found this as an informative and interesting post, so i think it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the effort you have made in writing this article.


    edupdf.org

    ReplyDelete