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A wizard is an expert magician but there are some trainees (like Sabrina the Teenage Witch). I was wondering if there is a single word to describe an amateur or young wizard as opposed to fully describing as "young wizard".

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I think that generally you would class someone like that as a "Wizard's Apprentice". – Hellion Jan 3 '12 at 17:31
@Hellion so, what about "Wizentice" – Tobias Kienzler Jan 3 '12 at 18:32
see also: Wizzard – Tobias Kienzler Jan 3 '12 at 18:33
In Nethack it would be Evoker. – z7sg Ѫ Jan 3 '12 at 18:37
Does 'novitiate' work? – Mitch Jan 4 '12 at 2:09
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Since wizard and witch are not typical identities or avocations, at least in the modern English-speaking world, I don't think there is any common term for a newcomer trainee like resident or postulant or rookie.

There may be invented terms specific to various fictional fantasy universes, but in general communication one can expect "wizard" or its equivalent mated with the general terms for newcomers like novice, neophyte, trainee, fledgling, recruit, and so on, as in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

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I wouldn't be sure that a wizard is necessarily an expert magician.

As far as I can tell, there are three main stages in the development of the word "wizard".

  1. Its archaic use, meaning a wise man - no explicit supernatural overtones, except that belief in the supernatural was pretty much universal in the middle ages.
  2. Its later use, popularised in Tolkien-esque fantasy literature, as a practitioner of sorcery - whether an expert or not; I'm not so sure.
  3. Its subsequent use meaning "so expert, it looks like magic"

If there were a specific word for a trainee sorcerer, I would expect to find it widely used in the annals of fantasy fiction, and I have not encountered any such word there.

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Agreed. OP seems to be conflating the modern usage ("expert") with earlier usages which really only exist in fantasy tales now. Obviously if there were a standard word for "junior wizard" everyone would already know it, given the ubiquitous Harry Potter books and films. – FumbleFingers Jan 3 '12 at 18:22

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