One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In a direction contrary to the sun's course, considered as unlucky; counterclockwise.
- ‘He waved the Mistletoe three time widdershins around his head, said the sacred words and did the dance that only Witches and Druids know.’
- ‘They started to move widdershins, or counter-clockwise.’
- ‘These are all created by either a single point of applied pressure or a combination of pressure and motion (back and forwards within track, clockwise, withershins).’
- ‘He flew three times widdershins round the garden before stealing the gift of speech from Sister Sun, then escaped, laughing.’
- ‘‘Watch and learn,’ his friend replies enigmatically, before changing the clockwise finger-spin to widdershins.’
- ‘A halfhearted pit had formed, swirling widdershins in front of the stage.’
- ‘Lets face it; I was not trapped inside a rickety old church with the dog running widdershins about it so I think I am safe.’
- ‘She didn't waken as Ander scooped her up in his arms, carried her down the wide staircase, then turned fully withershins so that he was facing the ship's forward quarters.’
- ‘There is something a bit skewed, a bit loopy about Lonergan people who wend their way through life widdershins, and Lonergan talk that is really front-stoop philosophizing.’
- ‘‘My love then and his bonny ship turn'd withershins about’ - sing along now!’
Early 16th century: from Middle Low German weddersins, from Middle High German widersinnes, from wider ‘against’ + sin ‘direction’; the second element was associated with Scots sin ‘sun’.
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