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October 31, 2013

Word of the Day

  • Demogorgon
  • audio pronunciation
  • \Dee-muh-GOR-gun\
  • DEFINITION

noun

: a mysterious spirit or deity often explained as a primeval creator god who antedates the gods of Greek mythology
  • EXAMPLES

"'Lotterman thinks I'm a Demogorgon,' he would say. 'You know what that is? Look it up—no wonder he doesn't like me.'" — From Hunter S. Thompson's novel The Rum Diary (begun 1959; published 1998)

"Whenever Dylan or Donovan (oh God, still the memory—Donovan) held the car radio hostage or the dreaded triple-headed Demogorgon Peter, Paul and Mary blistered the eardrums and sank my soul—I remember my piercing outcry: 'It's archaic and horrible and I want it to stop.'" — From an article by Rex Murphy in The Globe and Mail (Canada), July 4, 2009

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Genealogia deorum gentilium is a laudable 14th-century genealogy of ancient mythological deities complied by Giovanni Boccaccio. In it Boccaccio writes about Demogorgon, a primordial heathen god shrouded in mystery. Thereafter, Demogorgon began to be conjured in Renaissance writings to invoke terror and dread. In Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, he is "Downe in the bottome of the deepe Abysse … Farre from the view of the Gods and heauens blis." In Paradise Lost, John Milton speaks of "the dreaded name Of Demogorgon." And Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus calls on Demogorgon in a summons for Mephistopheles. After the Renaissance, Demogorgon began to make fewer appearances in the English language, but he has by no means been forgotten. These days his name is sometimes used in a more generic way of something that is bizarre or monstrous.

Test Your Memory: What former Word of the Day begins with "m" and can refer to a servile dependent, follower, or underling? The answer is …

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