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The Devil's Dictionary:    

Definition of Hag

  HAG   noun
An elderly lady whom you do not happen to like; sometimes called, also, a hen, or cat.  Old witches, sorceresses, etc., were called hags from the belief that their heads were surrounded by a kind of baleful lumination or nimbus -- hag being the popular name of that peculiar electrical light sometimes observed in the hair.  At one time hag was not a word of reproach:  Drayton speaks of a 'beautiful hag, all smiles,' much as Shakespeare said, 'sweet wench.'  It would not now be proper to call your sweetheart a hag -- that compliment is reserved for the use of her grandchildren.

Devil's Dictionarydefinition from:
The Devil's Dictionary
by Ambrose Bierce, 1911


Last updated: 9/3/2011 12:48:30