Word for Wednesday: Monster

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Our Word for Wednesday theme for October is Halloween.

The word Halloween likely dates to the seventeenth century but was popularised in the Burns poem ‘Halloween’ which was written in 1785. It is a Scottish abbreviation of ‘Allhallow-even’ which means ‘Eve of the All Saints’.  ‘Hallow’ means ‘holy person’ or ‘saint’. 

Last week, we looked at the word pumpkin. Today’s word is monster

A monster is a frightening imaginary creature that is usually depicted with various animal and human parts. The word is also used to describe a cruel or evil person. 

Monster comes from the Old French ‘monstre’, from the Latin ‘monstrum’ meaning ‘divine omen’ or ‘warning’. Abnormal or extremely large animals were seen as warnings that evil was coming. The meaning of monster extended to include fantasy animals made up from the parts of different creatures by the late-fourteenth century, and cruel or wicked people by the mid-sixteenth century. 

The term monster-movie dates to 1958.


13 Oct 2021
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