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Encyclopedia > Wight

Wight is a Middle English word for a creature or a living being, especially a human being.[1] In modern English today, it is also used in fiction for human-like creatures. Wight derives from the same root as forms of to be, such as was and were. Modern German "Wicht" is a cognate, meaning "small person, dwarf", and also "unpleasant person"; in Low German it means "girl". It is not related to the English word "witch". A creature is a created being, as opposed to a creator. ... Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ... Low German (also called Niederdeutsch, Plattdeutsch or Plattdüütsch) is a name for the regional language varieties of the West Germanic languages spoken mainly in Northern Germany where it is officially called Niederdeutsch (Low German), and in Eastern Netherlands where it is officially called Nedersaksisch (Low Saxon). Low refers to...

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Etymology

Wight comes from Old English word wiht, akin to Old High German wiht, meaning a creature or thing.[2] The word is a cognate with Dutch wicht, German Wicht, Old Norse vættir and Swedish vätte. A creature is a created being, as opposed to a creator. ... Wight is an obsolete word for a human or other intelligent being (cognate to modern German Wicht, meaning small person, dwarf, and also unpleasant person). It is used only comparatively recently to give an impression of archaism and mystery, for example in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. ...


Usage

Examples of the word used in classic English literature and poetry:

  • Geoffrey Chaucer (1368-1372), The Book of the Duchess, line 579:
    "Worste of alle wightes."
  • Geoffrey Chaucer (circa 1379-1380), The House of Fame, line 1830-1831:
    "We ben shrewes, every wight,
    And han delyt in wikkednes."
  • William Shakespeare (circa 1602), The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act I, Sc. III:
    "O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?"
  • John Milton (1626), On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough, verse vi
    "Oh say me true if thou wert mortal wight..."

Wight has been used comparatively recently to give an impression of archaism and mystery in literature, for example in the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, where wights are corpses with a part of their decayed soul. Probably inspired by Scandinavian folklore (of vættir), Tolkien also used the word to denote human-like creatures, such as elves or ghosts ("wraiths") - most notably the undead Barrow-Wights. Some subsequent writers seem to have been unaware that the word did not actually mean ghost or wraith, and so many works of fantasy fiction, role-playing games and computer and video games use the term as the name of spectral creatures very similar to Tolkien's Barrow-wights, such as Dungeons & Dragons' wights. Geoffrey Chaucer (c. ... Geoffrey Chaucer (c. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... For other persons named John Milton, see John Milton (disambiguation). ... John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English philologist, writer and university professor, best known as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. ... Scandinavian folklore is the folklore of Sweden, Norway and Denmark. ... Wight is an obsolete word for a human or other intelligent being (cognate to modern German Wicht, meaning small person, dwarf, and also unpleasant person). It is used only comparatively recently to give an impression of archaism and mystery, for example in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. ... A small forest elf (älva) rescuing an egg, from Solägget (1932), by Elsa Beskow An elf is a creature of Germanic paganism which still survives in northern European folklore. ... An artists interpretation of a ghostly woman on a flight of stairs, based on common descriptions A ghost is usually defined as the apparition of a deceased person, frequently similar in appearance to that person, and encountered in places he or she frequented, or in association with the person... Undead is a collective name for mythological beings that are deceased yet behave as if alive. ... Barrow-wights are wraith-like creatures in J. R. R. Tolkiens world of Middle-earth. ... Smaug in his lair: an illustration for the fantasy The Hobbit Fantasy is a genre of art that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. ... This article is about games in which one plays the role of a character. ... Namcos Pac-Man was a hit, and became a universal phenomenon. ... Dungeons & Dragons (abbreviated as D&D or DnD) is a fantasy role-playing game (RPG) currently published by Wizards of the Coast. ... In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the wight is an undead creature. ...


Compare

Wight is an obsolete word for a human or other intelligent being (cognate to modern German Wicht, meaning small person, dwarf, and also unpleasant person). It is used only comparatively recently to give an impression of archaism and mystery, for example in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. ... Genie is the English term for the Arabic جني (jinnie). ...

References

  1. ^ Wight, in the Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, 1974 edition.
  2. ^ Merriam-Webster, 1974.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Wight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (768 words)
Wight is an obsolete word for a human or other intelligent being (cognate to modern German "Wicht", meaning "small person, dwarf", and also "unpleasant person").
The cautious peasant in old Scandinavia should always warn the wights before spilling hot water on the ground, or else grave retribution, such as disease, accidents or killed livestock, was to be expected.
Wights had their own minute cattle, from which they nevertheless got a tremendous amount of milk.
Paul Wight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4500 words)
He also visited Wight's mother and forced her to reveal that Wight's father was a different man, leading Boss Man to refer to him as a "bastard" on every possible occasion (this would later become one of Wight's nicknames, with a piece of WWF merchandise even bearing the slogan "Big Nasty Bastard").
In May 2005 Wight suffered "injured ribs" on the right-hand side of his torso and was temporarily sidelined after Carlito Caribbean Cool's bodyguard Matt Morgan used the F-5 to drive him through the announcers' table (Carlito was displeased by Wight's refusal to become his bodyguard).
Wight was one of eight participants in the 2006 Road to WrestleMania Tournament, the winner of which would receive a shot at the WWE Championship.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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