Wizarding : Practical Wizardry

Dr Alan Jones PhD FRSA
6 min readMar 14, 2018

The word wizarding, the practice of wizardry, seems to come straight out of the books by J K Rowling, and indeed she has done much to promote the idea of Wizardry — albeit in a romantic, fanciful and fictional way.

One of the earliest literary uses of the term comes from 1904 and Arthur Williams Marchmont novel By Snare of Love‎.

And he said he knew the paper was but a forgery, my lord; that His Highness, Rechad Effendi, had never seen it; that his master the American knew this too; that he had learnt all my lord’s plans by wizarding, and knew them…

The Word Wizard

Earlier etymology of the word Wizard implies Wise.

wizard (n.)
mid-15c., “philosopher, sage,” from Middle English wys “wise” (see wise (adj.)) + -ard. Cf. Lithuanian zynyste “magic,” zynys “sorcerer,” zyne “witch,” all from zinoti “to know.” The ground sense is perhaps “to know the future.” The meaning “one with magical power” did not emerge distinctly until c.1550, the distinction between philosophy and magic being blurred in the Middle Ages.

As a slang word meaning “excellent”, it is recorded from 1922.

wise (adj.)
Old English wis, from Proto-Germanic *wisaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian wis, Old Norse viss, Dutch wijs, German weise “wise”), from pp. adj. *wittos of PIE root *weid- “to see,” hence “to know” (see vision).

Slang meaning “aware, cunning” first attested 1896. Related to the source of Old English witan “to know, wit.”

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

wizard [n1] person who can perform magic astrologer, augurer, clairvoyant, conjurer, diviner, enchanter, fortuneteller, hypnotist, magician, magus, medium, necromancer, occultist, palmist, seer, shaman, soothsayer, sorcerer, thaumaturge, warlock, witch;

wizard [n2] person who is highly skilled ace*, adept, artist, authority, crackerjack*, expert, genius, hot shot*, pro*, prodigy, professional, proficient, shark*, star, virtuoso, whiz*, whiz kid*, wiz*;



It follows, then, that we can legitimately use the word Wizarding to suggest…

Dr Alan Jones PhD FRSA

Director of Elyn Bres writing about personal development, the mind, spirituality and future histories. Elyn Bres is Cornish for Clear Mind www.elynbres.com