WOW: Widdershins

This post is in response to Heena Rathore P.’s Word of the Week (WOW). This weekly challenge is a great way of improving your vocabulary. If you wish to participate, simply create a post with your word and leave a link in a comment on Heena’s WOW post. wow (1)

Here’s my WOW for this week:


Widdershins (or withershins)

wid-der-shins (wĭd′ər-shĭnz′)

Part of Speech

In a direction that is contrary to the apparent direction of the sun; counterclockwise – sometimes considered to be unlucky or inviting misfortune

Word Origin
First recorded 1505-15 – mainly of Scottish use. From the Middle Low German weddersinnes, from Middle High German widersinnes: literal translation ‘against the way’ (i.e.’ in the opposite direction’) – probably from Old High German widar + sinnes

anticlockwise, counterclockwise

clockwise, deosil

Use in a Sentence
1) Great Aunt Helena could hardly believe her eyes – did those foolish children not realise that dancing widdershins would surely invite the most dreadful misfortune into the house?

Myles Birket Foster Ring a Ring a Roses
By Myles Birket Foster (1825–1899) (Bonhams) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
2)  The hand began spinning widdershins around the clock-face as the time machine whirred into life.

Image from Pixabay
Image from Pixabay

10 thoughts on “WOW: Widdershins

    1. It’s a great word! I personally find it works best in sentences related to supernatural / strange things – but that could just be because that’s my favourite thing to write! Thanks for visiting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Such an interesting word! I was saying it several times in a row and it reminded me of saying “tick tock” backwards. I agree that this too reminds me of something of the supernatural!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I first came across this word a few years ago in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. I thought he’d made it up until I looked it up!


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