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Shenanigans/rascality/monkeyshines with Webster’s

We’re not sure who’s noticed this, but at least once in each of Joe Delaney’s truly scary Last Apprentice books, Tom spins his silver chain widdershins. Or the Spook (or a witch shrieking and howling with blood lust) turns widdershins. By now, the word is deeply embedded in the Greenwillow vocabulary—“Bring that chair widdershins around the conference table to make more room….”

And this very month, we’re publishing a delightful book from a different series with the word in its actual  title—The Six Crowns: Fair Wind to Widdershins.

Imagine our joy when Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day today was … widdershins!

As the erudite folks at M-W explain, “Legend holds that demons always approached the devil widdershins. Not surprisingly, such a path was considered evil and unlucky. By the mid-1500s, English speakers had adopted ‘widdershins,’ (from the Old High German ‘widar,’ meaning ‘back’ or ‘against,’ and ‘sinnen,’ meaning ‘to travel’) for anything following a path opposite to the direction the sun travels across the sky (that is, counterclockwise). But in its earliest known uses ‘widdershins’ was far less malignant; it was used simply to describe a case of bad hair in which unruly locks stood on end or fell the wrong way.”

Obviously this is the perfect Last Apprentice word. But our favorite definition is the bad hair….BadHair Greenwillow

And now that the movie version of the Last Apprentice series really seems to be in pre-production (to be called The Seventh Son) would it be too much to hope that Julianne Moore or Ben Barnes will have hair that’s all widdershins?

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