Commonly Confused Words: Which vs. Witch

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What does each word mean?

Which is a question word used to ask what thing is being referred to out of a group of (assumed or explicit) options.

Here is which used in some example sentences:

  • Which way are we going?
  • Which shoe do you like best?
  • Which spelling is correct?


Look up which in the Spellzone dictionary.

witch is a supernatural being who practises sorcery or magic known as witchcraft.

Here is witch used in some example sentences:

  • I want to dress up at a witch for Halloween.
  • In medieval and early modern Europe, witches were thought commune with the devil and use supernatural powers to harm the communities they lived in. Man
  • The witch flew on a broomstick.

Look up witch in the Spellzone dictionary.


Where does each word come from?

Which comes from the Old English ‘hwile’, from the Proto-Germanic ‘hwa-lik'.

Witch comes from the Old Englisj ‘wicce’ meaning ‘female magician’ or ‘sorceress’. In later use, the word shifted in meaning to describe 'a woman supposed to have dealings with the devil and perform supernatural acts’. ‘Wicce’ is the feminine form of the Old English ‘wicca’ which means ‘sorcerer’ or ‘wizard’ and comes from the verb ‘wiccian’ meaning ‘to practise witchcraft’.


Are there any tricks to help remember the difference these words?

  • Which begins with the letters wh, just like many other question words: what, when, where, who, and why.

Witch has the word itch in it. Think of a witch performing a spell to make you itch to help you remember how to spell this word.
 

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27 Oct 2022
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"This is a fantastic opportunity for our students!  I'm sure Spellzone will be invaluable in helping them to improve their spellings and therefore improve the quality of their writing in all subject areas!"

Teacher, High School, UK