The word “wich” is an older form of the word “which,” and was used as a contraction for “which is.” While it has largely fallen out of use, it can still be found in some English dialects.
Wich is actually a very old word that dates back to at least the 13th century, when it was first recorded as wyche in the Oxford English Dictionary. It may have come from Old Norse via Middle English, but that connection isn’t certain.
Wich was used interchangeably with which until the 16th century, at which point it became less common. However, wich continued to be used in some areas even after which came into favor. Wich was still listed as an acceptable variant spelling in Fowler’s Modern English Usage (edited by Sir Ernest Gowers) until 1964.
Last modified: August 1, 2022