Ill-wishing, the wishing of harm, misfortune, destruction, or even death upon another human being, has been viewed by most cultures throughout time as a form of witchcraft. There are two types of ill-wishing, secret and spoken. Both forms are considered dangerous. In secret ill-wishing a person keeps their evil wishes to themselves, perhaps dwelling on them in internal fantasies. This form of ill-wishing is equated with the "evil eye". The second type of ill-wishing is the spoken word or curse in which a person deliberately speaks an evil wish against a person and usually out of envy or anger. An example of the spoken form of ill-wishing would be, "I wish you would drop dead!". In times past the spoken form of ill-wishing, if done in public and with witnesses, often led to the accusation or even arrest of the person on grounds of witchcraft, and especially if some misfortune occurred to the victim after the curse was leveled.
Older generations tend to understand the power of words and will usually refrain from at least the spoken form of ill-wishing. One may hear an older person say things such as, "I take that back..", if by chance they feel they have said something they should not have. Unfortunately today's generation seems oblivious to the concept of ill-wishing.