Weichselzopf in German mythology, is a name given to a certain disease which was thought to be derived from the river Weichsel, because this sickness was supposed to be common in Poland. It is, however, now quite certain that the name really is Vichtelzopf; taken from the superstitious idea of Wichtel- small, domestic, elf like spirits that, doubtless, in many cases are beneficial to men, yet, when teased or tantalized, are angry and evil-minded; and, besides doing other mischief, they are said to interlace the hairs of the head into inextricable plats and knots. —Vollmer, Worterb. d. Mythol. s.v.

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