Word Origin & History
O.E. brom "broom, brushwood," the common flowering shrub whose twigs were tied together to make a tool for sweeping, from P.Gmc. *bræmaz "thorny bush" (cf. Du. braam, Ger. Brombeere "blackberry"), from PIE base *bh(e)rem- "to project, a point." Both the flowers and sweeping with broom twigs were
traditionally considered unlucky in May (Suffolk, Sussex, Wiltshire, etc.). The witch's flying broomstick was originally one among many such objects (pitchfork, trough, bowl), but the broomstick became fixed as the popular tool of supernatural flight via engravings from a famous Lancashire witch trial of 1612.