In Slavic mythology, a vedmak (Belarusian: вядзьмак, вядзьмар; Bulgarian: вещер; Croatian: vještac; Russian: ведьмак; Czech: vědmák; Ukrainian: відьмак; Polish: wiedźmak; Serbian: вештац) is a warlock or male witch, the female equivalent (witch) being vedma, but unlike the latter, the vedmak may also possess positive qualities.
For example, they treat people and animals. On the other hand, they are thought to be people connected to the devil, and are capable of bringing harm by sending illnesses, killing cattle, spoiling a harvest, etc. The word was also used as an insult. A vedmak can turn into any animal or any object.
Under the influence of The Witcher fantasy saga by Andrzej Sapkowski, the term vedmak is sometimes also rendered as "witcher" in English in certain contexts. The word used for "witcher" in the original Polish version of the novels, "wiedźmin", was coined by Sapkowski himself as a neologism, while the word "wiedźmak" (cognate of "vedmak") is used in the books only as a derogatory term for witchers. "Ведьмак" is also the word used to translate "wiedźmin" in the Russian translation of the books.
- Слоўнік беларускай мовы. Менск: Беларуская навука, 2012. ISBN 978-985-08-1365-7
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- Wood Besant, Annie (January–April 1903). Theosophical Review Magazine. Kessinger Publishing: 401. Missing or empty
- Ushakov's Dictionary
- Yefimova's Modern Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian language, 2000.
- Fasmer, M (1987). Dictionary of Russian language in 4 volumes (2 ed.).
- Stworzyłem wiedźmina
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