One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A witch, especially one in the form of an ugly old woman (often used as a term of disparagement for a woman)‘a fat old hag in a dirty apron’
crone, old woman, witch, gorgonView synonyms
- ‘An old hag of a witch was approaching, her walk was staggered and she had enough warts on her nose so that you didn't know there was even a nose there.’
- ‘This is a place where witches aren't green hags, flying broomsticks, and scaring children away.’
- ‘One being that he fell in love with a mere human who so happened to be a maid for that old hag.’
- ‘Today, the typical witch is generally portrayed as an old hag in a black robe, wearing a pointed black cap and flying on a broomstick across a full moon.’
- ‘I mean, doesn't everyone think Witches are mythical old hags who ride broomsticks and turn princes into frogs?’
- ‘You can see wicked witches, grinning goblins, and hallucinating hags!’
- ‘You know, there's those stereotypes of the evil old hag and this and that.’
- ‘He was getting impatient and though she'd done almost everything to have every man despise her, she knew there were certain others who wouldn't care if she were a hag or a witch just to get her inheritance.’
- ‘I must admit, I was expecting an ugly old hag with a diseased or pale face… so what I saw startled me.’
- ‘I refuse to just lie around and do nothing like a decrepit old hag!’
- ‘Resonant of medieval folk tales, it conjures up the image of a wizened old hag casting spells on innocent children lost in a tangle of forests.’
- ‘While some sleep-loss victims state that the Old Hag actually appeared to them as a demon-faced woman with long gray hair other descriptions of the same experience vary.’
- ‘We are little-known and therefore little-understood, and this is exacerbated by Pagans who insist on aligning us with mythical broomstick-flying wart-sporting hags.’
- ‘Accompanying them was an old hag with a witches hat and long stringy green, white and gold hair.’
- ‘She finally lost her temper and turned into this thin old hag wearing a black dress.’
- ‘One of the stories featured a mad old hag who lived in a cave in the North of England several hundred years ago.’
- ‘The old hag turned my sister into a flea!’
- ‘As children we are told stories about the ugly old Witch hag that would bake children into gingerbread.’
- ‘His second ordeal is to be turned into an old hag, disguised in the clothes of an old aunt reputed to be a witch in order to escape from Mr F again.’
- ‘That old hag will haunt me for the rest of my existence.’
- ‘I am a magician, not some raggedy old hag who lives for dark magic!’
2short for hagfish
- ‘As a first step toward an understanding of the molecular basis for the divergence of pigment patterns and speciation in cichlids, we cloned and characterized a cichlid homolog of the zebrafish hag gene.’
Middle English: perhaps from Old English hægtesse, hegtes, related to Dutch heks and German Hexe ‘witch’, of unknown ultimate origin.
nounScottish, Northern English
1An overhang of peat.
- ‘But so were the boulders and lumps of peat hag which pocked the scene.’
- ‘This broad mass of peat hags and bog pools rises to over 680-metres at the head of Littondale.’
2A soft place on a moor or a firm place in a bog.
Middle English (denoting a gap in a cliff): from Old Norse hǫgg ‘gap’, from hǫggva ‘hack, hew’.
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