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What does this mean?[edit]

What does this mean? "It is akin to other words of Old English origin such as were and world." Were means male/man and wer-ald/wer-eld male-age. Wer and weikt/wict means different things, and go back to different indo-european roots. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Also, this interesting etymology of "world" (Old English woruld) as "man-age" is unsubstantiated and quite possibly made-up. --Saforrest 21:38, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Late reply, but see [1] and [2], it's commonly presumed. 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 23:30, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Wights in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore[edit]

I don't want to step on anyone's toes here, but this section's relation to the English word "wight"-- whether its original meaning, its intentionally archaic use as a kenning for draugr in Tolkien ("barrow-wight"), or its meaning in fantasy role-playing games and deriviative fiction-- is extremely thin.

I checked a couple of English dictionaries and my trusty American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, and the wight/vaettr relationship proposed here is not supported by anything I found. "Wight" means (archaic, Anglo-Saxon "wiht") "person" or "thing". It comes from the same root as "aught," "naught," and "not." There is nothing supernatural or folkloric about it. "Barrow-wight," for instance, just means "tomb-person" or "grave-thing".

I would suggest that this article be split up into two articles-- "wight" and "vaettr." Any relationship between the two words should be supported by references. Any similarity between the meaning or "vaettr" and the current meaning of "wight"-- which is strongly influenced by both a popular misunderstanding of the term "barrow wight" and the game "Dungeons and Dragons"-- would seem to be coincidental. Again, references would help. Silarius 09:07, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

The special meaning of "wight" was introduced, I believe, by Tolkien. You are correct that in Old English it meant nothing more than "person". I don't know exactly why the cognate German term, Wicht, means "dwarf" or "gnome" -- this probably has to do with a separate development, but AFAIK "wight" as a modern English term owes its existence to Tolkien. --Saforrest 21:35, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
According to most etymologists, The English and Scandinavian words are related, see [3] and [4]. 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 23:30, 18 April 2007 (UTC)


With the split off recently from Norse mythology, which sort of suprised me, the article is pretty thin not much more than a definiton - which Wiktionary already has. I'd suggest the article be expanded along the lines of quotes in literature and descriptions in English folklore. So far I've located it in poetry by William Blake and in Chaucer. Goldenrowley 16:49, 17 June 2007 (UTC)


I've never heard of illvättar outside of RPG's, and all internet search hits seems to be about RPG's or highly influenced by them. I strongly suspect that the illvätte (it basically means "bad vätte") was made up for Drakar och Demoner, the Swedish version of Dungeons & Dragons. They translated goblin as vätte and hobgoblin as illvätte.

Maybe it should be removed. Salleman 10:50, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

When I was a child, in the 70s or the 80s, I read an English translation from an English childrens' book, named the Illvätte (boogey man) and which contained a quotation by Linnaeus. It is probably much older as a term than Dungeons and Dragons.--Wiglaf 11:37, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
I see. I guess he'll stay then. :) Salleman 01:06, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

"From Sources We Know..."?[edit]

... er, what sources? Also, shouldn't "we" be taken out? In essesnce, I'm reccommending that we either nix the sentence or re-word it to quote the sources and opt out of the third-person (ex: "According to <John Doe>, the "landvættir" were held to be chthonic beings of specific farms and wild places."). Otherwise it just seems that we are using weasel words.

  • Agreed... but I've no inclination to delve into finding this source or to rewrite around an exclusion of the line. ~ Gertlex 02:48, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Just wondering about the list of sources. I know for a fact that 3DO Companies video game "Heroes Of Might and Magic 3" HOMAME had wights in them as part of the necropolise race. They resemble wraiths. I can even back this statement up with screen shots if necessary. Since Heroes 3 came out before 5 if only one reference is to stand heroes 3 should be the one. Also in a search of the word wight a fair amount of images came up. (conceptualized art) I noticed that a number of Wikipedia Articles contain pictures, could that be added? After all a picture is worth 1000 words. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:44, 23 June 2013 (UTC)


I disagree with the statement that Tolkien uses "wight" as a word for humanlike creatures. I'm pretty sure that every time it's used it's used to refer to something evil. Elves are only refered to as wights by characters who distrust or dislike them. I'm also pretty sure that Tolkien never uses wight to mean a "corpse with a decayed soul." Although they live in barrows, barrow-wights are not the undead remains of the people who were buried there. It is implied that they are some other kind of creature that came out of Angmar. Their exact nature is never fully explained. Celsiana 04:43, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Marilyn Manson reference[edit]

Maybe the song "Wight Spider" by Marilyn Manson should be mentioned? At least, it was the reason why I came here. Greetings. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:55, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Redirected to Isle of Wight[edit]

I have redirected this page to Isle of Wight, since what was on it seemed to be either duplication of material already on that page or wrong or incomprehensible. seglea 02:37, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Proposed merger with Vættir article[edit]

I have marked this article for merger with Vættir. The reason for this is that Wights and Vættir both refer to the same sorts of creatures in Norse and Anglo-Saxon mythology. The words are without a doubt cognates, regardless of the other statements on this page cf. EtymOnline

I suggest that Vættir is merged into Wight as this is the English name even though the quality of the current Vættir article is far beyond that of this article. --Eculeus (talk) 23:22, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, since wight means nothing more than man or person, and it was authors who introduced this alternate usage of the word, I am opposed to this merge. There could be a reference that it has been used in similar meaning to vaettir as has been done and that is fine. (For further "opposition" to this merge, when this was brought up back in 2007 according to the entry tags, see the section Wights in Norse mythology ... below.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:18, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Oppose. They aren't the same at all and can't be merged simply because of etymology. Paul S (talk) 16:27, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Strong support. Both cognates should be handled together, handling their development and relation; i.e. usage of "wight" in Old English and Proto-Germanic and Indo-European discussion, which could well be plentiful. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:47, 29 November 2011 (UTC)


Why not make a redirect to a disambiguation page, with one link to to the Wiktionary wight and then a new page Wight (undead) or similar? Paul S (talk) 11:17, 22 June 2011 (UTC)