cunning man


cunning man
   obsolete a wizard
   Cunning meant knowing and, as most wizards were in league with the devil, you had to talk nicely about them:
    A 'cunning man' was long resident in Bodmin, to whom the people went from all parts to be relieved of spells. (R. Hunt, 1865)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

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  • cunning men, women —    From the medieval period almost to the present day, there have been people who were employed by others to practise magical skills on their behalf, and were paid in money or small gifts, thus usefully supplementing the income from their regular …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • Cunning — Cun ning (k[u^]n n[i^]ng), a. [AS. cunnan to know, to be able. See 1st {Con}, {Can}.] 1. Knowing; skillful; dexterous. A cunning workman. Ex. xxxviii. 23. [1913 Webster] Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white Nature s own sweet and cunning… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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