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 Comments on “WOW: Widdershins

    • 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!


    • I’m glad you like it. 🙂 I probably only know of it because of the amount of ‘weird’ / folkloric things I read!


anima monday

Exploring our connection to the wider world

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Wrangling literary arts for writers: words for people!


watching the world of brain research

Mihran Kalaydjian's Official Blog

Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s. Billy Wilder

%d bloggers like this: