Witchery.com logo

Etymology Of The Term "Warlock"

Excerpted from:

The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition
published by Houghton Miffin Company, Boston, copyright 1982, 1985

[ME warloghe<OE waerloga,oath-breaker:waer,pledge+-loga,liar,[leogan,to lie.]

Excerpted from:

The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Eighth Edition
Published by: Claredon Press Oxford - 1990
First Edited by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler - 1911
Eighth Edition Edited by R.E. Allen - 1990

warlock n. archaic a sorcerer or wizard.
[OE waer-loga traitor f. waer covenant: loga rel. to lie]

Excerpted from:

Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins
Written by: William Morris and Mary Morris
Published by: Harper & Row - 1977 1st Edition

warlocks/witches. Witches have been considered and depicted as females ever since the Dark Ages, when most people truly believe in them. Since that same period their male counterparts have been called warlocks, from two Old English words meaning "oath breaker," for warlocks were supposed to be demons who had broken with the true faith. Witches have always been more publicized than warlocks. For example, when Shakespear wanted to set the proper mood for the sordid and murderous tragedy of Macbeth, he used three witches, not three warlocks. And when both sexes got together for an orgy, it was refered to as the witches'(not warlocks') sabbath.

Excerpted from:

The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology
Edited by: Robert K. Barnhart, Editor
Sol Steinmetz, Managing Editor
Published by: H.W.Wilson Company - 1988 1st printing

warlock n. wizard, male witch. Before 1400 warlag, warlau, warlo; developed from Old English waerloga (before 900) demon, traitor, scoundrel, damned soul, monster; originally oathbreaker (waer - covenant, related to waer - true; VERY + -loga, agent noun related to leogan to speak falsely, LIE; see also WEDLOCK) The modern spelling warlock is Scottish, first recorded in 1685 (also Scottish warlok, before 1585)

Excerpted from:

Klein's Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language Volume II L-Z
Written by: Dr. Ernest Klein
Published by: Elsevier Publishing Company - 1967

warlock, n., wizard, magician - ME. warloghe, `deceiver, traitor' fr. OE. waerloga, `belier, traitor', which is compounded of waer, `agreement, treaty;faith', and loga-,`liar'. The first element is cogn. with L. verus, `true'; see very, adj. The second element drives from the stemof gelogen, pp. of leogan, `to lie', see lie, `to tell an untruth'. Derivative: warlock, n.

Excerpted from:

A Handy Poetical Anglo-Saxon Dictionary
Written by: James A. Harrison and W.M. Baskervill, PH.D., Lips.
Published by: A.S. Barnes & Co. -1885
Page 230

Waer, st. f. covenant, treaty, compact, promise, vow, troth

waer-, werloga, w.m. warlock, covenant-breaker, faithless one, devil.

Excerpted from:

A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, Fourth Edition
Written by: John R. Clark-Hall M.A., PH.D.
Published by: Cambridge at the University Press - 1960 1st Edition - 1894
Page 216

leogan to `lie' Bl,WW : deceive, belie, betry, AE, CP : be in error, AEGr 1. on to charge falsely.
Page 394

Waer I. adj. true, correct, GEN681. II. f. faith, fidelity : keeping, protection : agreement, treaty, compact, pledge, covenant : bound (of friendship)

waerloga m. troth-breaker, traitor, liar, devil. [`WARLOCK'; leogan]

Copyright 1993-2007 Witchery Inc. All rights reserved.