Word Family - Witch


Bonus word family for Halloween by special request from my 4 year old: "witch" from *weyk-: "to separate, to choose, to consecrate".

*weyk- looks like an extended root implying *wey-, but I can't find any clear evidence for that root. If it is an extension of *wey-, a zero-grade of that would be the adverb *wi: "apart, asunder" (though that could also be a variant of *dwi-: "in two"). And *weyd-: "to see" could possibly be another extension of *wey-—"see", "choose", "pick out" being reasonably a semantic group.


witch, wicked, victim

Full Text

  • Proto-Indo-European *weyk- to separate, to choose, to consecrate
    • Proto-Indo-European *wiknéh₂ti
      • Germanic *wikkōną
        • West Germanic *wikkōną
          • Old English wiċċian
            • English (be)witch
          • Frankish *wikkon
          • Old High German *wikkōn
            • German wicken
          • West Germanic *wikkô
            • Old English wiċċa
              • English witch
              • Scots wich witch
              • English Wicca
              • Middle English wicke
                • English wicked
            • Old High German wicko
              • Middle High German wicker soothsayer, magician
    • Proto-Indo-European *wenéykti
      • Indo-Iranian
        • Indo-Aryan
          • Sanskrit 𑀯𑀺𑀦𑀓𑁆𑀢𑀺 vinakti to separate, to discern, to judge
        • Iranian
          • Avestan vaecaiia- to separate
    • Proto-Indo-European *weykos chosen, consecrated
      • Germanic *wīhaz holy, consecrated
        • East Germanic
          • Gothic 𐍅𐌴𐌹𐌷𐍃 weihs holy, sacred
        • West Germanic
          • Old High German wīh
            • German weih-
              • German Weihnachten Christmas lit. "Holy Night"
              • German Weihwasser holy water
          • West Germanic *wīharaukiz incense lit. "holy smoke"
            • Frankish *wīrōk
              • Dutch wierook incense
            • Old High German wīhrouh incense
              • German Weihrauch incense
        • Germanic *wīhijaną to hallow, to consecrate
          • East Germanic
            • Gothic 𐍅𐌴𐌹𐌷𐌰𐌽 weihan to hallow, to consecrate
          • North Germanic
            • Old Norse vígja
              • Danish vie to devote, to dedicate, to wed
              • Icelandic vígja to consecrate, to inaugurate, to ordain
              • Old Swedish vighia
                • Swedish viga to wed, to devote
                • Finnish vihkiä to wed, to ordain, to consecrate, to devote, to inaugurate
          • West Germanic
            • Frankish *wīen
              • Dutch wijden to dedicate, to inaugurate, to bless
                • Dutch wijwater holy water
            • Old High German wīhen
              • German weihen to consecrate, to ordain
        • Germanic *wīhą holy place or thing
          • North Germanic
            • Old Norse shrine
            • Old Norse one of the brothers of Odin [1]
          • West Germanic
            • Old English wēoh idol, image
              • Old English wēofod altar
    • Proto-Indo-European *wiktós chosen, consecrated
      • Proto-Indo-European *wiktom- a chosen thing
        • Italic *wiktVmā
          • Latin victima sacrifice, sacrificial victim
            • Central Romance
              • Italian vittima victim
            • Western Romance
            • French victime victim
              • English victim
            • Spanish víctima victim
            • Latin victimō I offer as sacrifice
              • Eastern Romance
                • Romanian a vătăma to injure, to damage
          • Italic *ek-wiktVmā
            • Umbrian 𐌄𐌖𐌄𐌉𐌄𐌕𐌖 eveietu electrum lit. ~"it will consecrate"


Image is a visual representation of the text content above.

Collected English words

(be)witch, witch, Wicca, wicked, victim


  1. ^

    In the Old Norse triad Óðinn, Vili, and , all three would have originally alliterated, instead of just two. They correspond to Common Germanic *Wōdinaz, *Wiljô, and *Wīhą or Proto-Norse *Wódin, *Wili, and *Wé. The /w/ in *Wōdin was absorbed by the rounded vowel.

    *Wódin, *Wili, and *Wé represent three divine aspects of mind: Wódin is ecstasy (transcendent inspiration), Wili is will (thought leading to action), and Vé is spiritual power.