Word Origin & History
O.E. wyrd "fate, destiny" (n.), lit. "that which comes," from P.Gmc. *wurthis (cf. O.S. wurd, O.H.G. wurt "fate," O.N. urðr "fate, one of the three Norns"), from PIE *wert- "to turn, wind," (cf. Ger. werden, O.E. weorðan "to become"), from base *wer- "to turn, bend" (see
). For sense development from "turning" to "becoming," cf. phrase turn into "become." The modern sense of weird developed from M.E. use of weird sisters for the three fates or Norns (in Gmc. mythology), the goddesses who controlled human destiny. They were usually portrayed as odd or frightening in appearance, as in "Macbeth," which led to the adj. meaning "odd-looking, uncanny," first recorded 1815.