Definitions starting with H

ID #1917

hag, higue, hige, huyg

/hayg/ [Car. DJE; cf. Guy. ole higue living old woman who sheds skin at night...sucks blood of sleeping children" (Rickford 1976:54); cf. Gul. "A hag is the disembodied spirit of an old woman who practices witchcraft ...Hags are not spirits of the dead but spirits of mean, jealous living people" (Writers' Program 1940:467); also US Black (Smiley 1919:363); cf. OED hag an evil spirit in female form obs.→ 1810; "one of a group of words (cf. bige bag, bullyrige bullyrag, etc.) in which the regular dialect reflex would be /hag/ but the irregular /haig/ appears instead" DJE; note that Bay Islands English regularly palatalizes /æ/ before velar stops, e.g. /blayk/ black (Warantz BIE:1:5n in Holm ed. 1982); "an old (British) dialectal pronunciation" (Le Page p.c.)]

1. a witch (male or female) who leaves SKIN at night to haunt victims by tormenting them or sucking their blood: 1918 "Speerits" or "huygs" (Parsons 48). 1979 (LaRoda 71). (Black)

2. [cf. OED hag nightmare obs. → 1696] a nightmare: Some people have hag if they eat in the night (Nassau). (Black)

3. an old, ugly conch. (Berry)

-v. [cf. US dial. Mid hag to annoy or pester; to egg someone on DARE; cf. OED hag to torment or terrify as a hag; to trouble, as the nightmare obs. →1700] (of a spirit) to torment or annoy; to appear in a nightmare; to tap a person's shoulder or tweak his toe to frighten him: 1918 He had "higed" a certain child who had been sickly (Parsons 41). A witch's chant: "Skinny, skinny, you know me/I gon hag tonight" (Eleu.). (Black)

Tags: animal, folktales, noun, verb

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Last update: 2010-09-21 03:33
Author: Holm and Shilling, DBE, 1982
Revision: 1.1

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