The origin of the word curse is unknown though the earliest word that we know that it comes from is curs from late old English meaning a prayer that evil or harm befall one, or consignment of a person to an evil fate. It could also be related to the Latin word cursus, or the old French word curuz. Magick practitioners today use the word curse to mean any form of spell that causes harm.


The word hex came into English in 1830 from the Pennsylvania German hexe meaning to practice witchcraft. This word was greatly connected to the German word hexen meaning to hex, and related to Hexe meaning witch. As of 1856 hex was used to refer to a witch, and in 1909 the meaning of hex changed, and was used to refer to any form of magic spell. It eventually took on a negative connotation. Some practitioners of magick today also see it as weaker curse that vanishes if the target learns their lesson.


Jinx also known as jynx is a word that primarily means to bring bad luck, or misfortune. The origin of the word Jynx comes from the name of the bird known as a wryneck, which was used in witchcraft, and was also seen as an omen. This bird was originally named after a sorceress from Greek and Roman mythology known as Iynx. In one story she was said to be transformed into the bird as punishment for casting a spell upon Zeus. In the 1690s the word Jynx was used in English to mean a charm, or spell. The word was first used in the “Jinx” spelling in 1911 as a part of baseball slang in reference to bad luck. Jinxes are considered to be under the umbrella of curses being a specific curse that deals with misfortune, and bad luck.

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