It comes across as offensive. I just recently saw Shadow People for the second time and what they didn’t go into enough is the origin of the word hag.

There is some particular woman they speak of being Norse in her earlier years. and Germanic in her latter years. This also ties in with the origin of the word nightmare.

Is there someone who is able to shed some light on this for me?

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    Saying that someone is Norse in her earlier years and Germanic in her later years is utter nonsense. It's like saying she's from England in her earlier years, but from the UK in her later years. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 12 '14 at 11:00
  • I apologize as I must have misread. Thank you for the correction. – Rhea Jan 12 '14 at 11:10

A hag is a wizened old woman, or a kind of fairy or goddess having the appearance of such a woman; often found in folklore and children's tales such as Hansel and Gretel.

Hags are often seen as malevolent, but may also be one of the chosen forms of shape-shifting deities, such as the Morrígan or Badb, who are seen as neither wholly beneficent nor malevolent.

The term appears in Middle English, and was a shortening of hægtesse, an Old English term for witch, similarly the Dutch heks and German hexe are also shortenings, of the Middle Dutch haghetisse and Old High German hagzusa respectively.

All these words derive from the Proto-Germanic hagatusjon which is of unknown origin, however the first element may be related to the word "hedge".

As a stock character in fairy or folk tale, the hag shares characteristics with the crone, and the two words are sometimes used as if interchangeable


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  • Also: etymonline.com/… – nxx Jan 12 '14 at 12:08
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    Is there anything you can add to this answer to make it more than just a LMGTFY or cut and paste? – Mitch Jan 12 '14 at 16:39

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