Also known as mountain ash, wittern, whitty, wiggen, and quickbeam, rowan was the tree most often credited with protective magical powers against all effects of *witch-craft, not merely in Celtic areas but throughout Britain (Opie and Tatem, 1989: 333-4; Vickery, 1995: 319-22). A correspondent from Westmorland in Hone's Table Book (1827: ii, cols. 674-5) says 'its anti-witching properties are held in very high esteem' in northern counties, where, to prevent spells on farm animals and butter-making, the churn-staff and the shafts of forks used in the cowhouse and stable must be made of its wood. The same was true in many other areas, as was the use of rowan wood for carters' whips, the pegs of cattle tethers, and cradles. In Lancashire, rowan twigs over the bed ensured peaceful sleep, i.e. repelled the *nightmare; in Yorkshire, looped twigs were hung on gateposts; in both counties, rowan wood was used to make *witch posts. In some North Yorkshire farms, the protective twigs over every door and bed, known as 'witch-wood', were annually renewed; one must cut them from a tree one had never seen before, and bring them home by a different route (Atkinson, 1891: 97-9).
   Oddly, some Lancashire people thought it an unlucky tree and would not have one in the garden, transplant one, or bring cuttings into the house; in such cases, its ominous white *flowers were more important than its *red berries.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rowan — steht für: den Vornamen von: Rowan Atkinson (* 1955), britischer Schauspieler Rowan Williams (* 1950), Erzbischof von Canterbury den Nachnamen von: Archibald Hamilton Rowan (1751–1834), irischer Politiker und Revolutionär Carl Rowan (1925–2000),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rowan — Row an, n. Rowan tree. [1913 Webster] {Rowan barry}, a barry of the rowan tree. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rowan — mountain ash, 1804, from rowan tree, rountree (1540s), northern English and Scottish, from a Scandinavian source (Cf. O.N. reynir, Swed. Ronn the rowan ), ultimately from the root of RED (Cf. red), in reference to the berries. There were those in …   Etymology dictionary

  • Rowan — Rowan, IA U.S. city in Iowa Population (2000): 218 Housing Units (2000): 103 Land area (2000): 0.562681 sq. miles (1.457338 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.562681 sq. miles (1.457338 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Rowan, IA — U.S. city in Iowa Population (2000): 218 Housing Units (2000): 103 Land area (2000): 0.562681 sq. miles (1.457338 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.562681 sq. miles (1.457338 sq. km) FIPS code:… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Rowan — Rowan, Rowen englischer Name gälischen Ursprungs, Bedeutung: der Rote. Namensträger: Rowan Atkinson, britischer Schauspieler …   Deutsch namen

  • rowan — [rō′ənber΄ē] n. pl. rowanberries [rō′ənber΄ē, rou′ənberērō′ən, rou′ən] n. [< Scand, as in Norw rogn, raun, ON reynir, akin to ON rauthr,RED: from the color of the fruit] 1. the European mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia), a tree with pinnately… …   English World dictionary

  • Rowan — Rowan, Grafschaft in Nord Carolina (Nordamerika), 28 QM., im Osten vom Yadkin River, im Norden vom South Yadkin River begrenzt; hügelig; Producte: Mais, Weizen, Hafer, Schweine, Gold (im südlichen Theile). Die Nord Carolina Centralbahn… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Rowan — m, f English: 1 (m.) Transferred use of the surname, which is of Irish origin, being an Anglicized form of the Gaelic byname Ruadhán ‘little red one’ (a diminutive of ruadh red; cf. ROY (SEE Roy)). It was borne by a 6th century saint who founded… …   First names dictionary

  • rówan — 1 sv/i7 3rd pres réwð past réow/on ptp is gerówen to go by water, row, sail, swim …   Old to modern English dictionary

  • rowan — ► NOUN ▪ a small tree with white flowers and red berries. ORIGIN Scandinavian …   English terms dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.