Saturday, April 13, 2013

A to Z Challenge 2013: L - Lycanthropy

Lycanthropy

ly·can·thro·py [līˈkanTHrəpē] n. in folklore, the magical ability to assume the form and characteristics of a wolf.

Synonyms: none

Etymology: 1580s, a form of madness (described by ancient writers) in which the afflicted thought he was a wolf, from Greek lykanthropia, from lykanthropos "wolf-man," from lykos "wolf" (see wolf (n.)) + anthropos "man" (see anthropo-). Originally a form of madness (described by ancient writers) in which the afflicted thought he was a wolf; applied to actual transformations of persons (especially witches) into wolves since 1830 (see werewolf).

I'm sure we're all pretty familiar with this fun word, but it's always cool to see the etymology.

Note: today is my day to post at the main A to Z blog, so please come check out my post for L!

34 comments:

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Lycanthropy is a word I know well. Etymology is an interesting one to learn.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Excellent word choice today!

Kathy said...

What an interesting word, with such history. Great 'L' word. Stopping by on the A to Z Challenge.
Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Lovely choice. Off to the A to Z Website.

Enjoy the second half of the challenge.

farawayeyes said...

Knew the word, BUT I didn't realize that it originally pertained only to a form of madness.

DL Hammons said...

I saw the title of your post and said aloud..."Werewolve!" :)

Laura Eno said...

Thanks for the links! One of my upcoming stories will be featuring a form of this so I need all the help I can get. :)

Laura Eno – A Shift in Dimensions

Nancy Thompson said...

Amazing that there were enough people who thought they were wolves that a word would be created for the condition.

Donna K. Weaver said...

The current fascination with werewolves has almost made this a household word.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

There's a word for every contingency!

Sally said...

It's great to learn the original meanings of words.

Mary Rack said...

So I went to your A-Z post and now I'm back. After writing 13 posts (Monday's is ready and waiting) I am ready for your suggestions. What a rich resource this is. Your summary is helpful. Thanks!

I appreciated the tip from one of your colleagues about signing with a link to our own blogs.

There's just one problem: it's addictive! I'm putting off housework and other important stuff. Hmm... maybe I need different priorities.
Mary at Mary A to Z

Huntress said...

Were-folk and all their terminology weren't in my vocabulary until a few years ago.
CD Coffelt ponders at Spirit Called
And critiques at UnicornBell

Steve MC said...

Remember a TV show in the '70s about a kid raised by wolves, called "Lucan"? I thought I'd found some ancient connection between Latin and Native American, but nope, lucan ain't a Native word, but some Roman dude. :p

Michael Offutt, S.F.A. said...

You should watch Being Human (US version). It has an adorable lycanthrope in it. And a hot ghost for you straight guy.

Shawn Yankey said...

I feel like Mike Tyson with a new word to try out. Off I go!
Shawn at Laughing at Life 2

KT Did said...

Lon Chaney!
KaTy Did at: Life's Ride As I See It

Kit Courteney said...

Nice word choice.

I'm trying to say "lycanthropy" in an American accent... it sounds SO much more sinister!

Maggie Winter said...

Great word which I didn't know so thanks a lot.
#atozchallenge
maggie winter

Doreen McGettigan said...

I had NO idea! My 10 year old grandson is fascinated with werewolves so I cannot wait to share this information with him.
Thank you for hosting the A-Z!
doreenmcgettigan.com

Mary Kirkland said...

Wow, great post. I didn't know all that.

Dark Thoughts Blog

Andrew Leon said...

It's another word that I like the sound of.
Do you know how they identified werewolves in the middle ages?

S. L. Hennessy said...

An excellent area of study. Love werewolves. As long as they're not hanging out with sparkly vamps.

Nick Wilford said...

I wonder what the tipping point was that made people recognise the existence of real werewolves.

Elephant's Child said...

I have long loved werewolves, so thoroughly enjoyed your take on the letter L. Thank you.
I note that you share your world with cats and a German Shepherd. Love them both - I learned to walk pulling myself up on a Shepherd's tail and also teethed on the poor dog's ears. I am told that he just about walked cross-legged to avoid pulling me off my feet and merely sighed while I gnawed. Brilliant dogs.

Rossandra said...

I'm doing meaning of words, funny ones, weird ones, actually whatever strikes my fancy. Lycanthropy's a good 'un. Love them werewolves. Popping in from A-Z. Cheers!

Cynthia said...

Love the word choices.



Cynthia (The Sock Zone)
A to Z challenge
blueflute.wordpress.com

Melanie Schulz said...

Great word. Another one I've never heard of before.

Jan Newman said...

Gotta love those Greek words. Thanks for sharing. I watch Being Human, the American version, because I can't get the British one anymore. :(

Christina Lee said...

And such a rich history those lycans have!

Kern Windwraith said...

You're right, it's very interesting to see the etymology, and fascinating to think that enough people were afflicted with the delusion that they were wolves to make it necessary to coin this word. I mean, what was THAT about??

Rick Daley said...

Cool, I knew that one!

Kristen Dyrr said...

I know this word well because I love Being Human (BBCA). :) I love the history though.

Tina said...

Didn't know this one! I'm getting such a great education with your series. This reminds me of Harry Potter and the animagus, especially Lupin. Good word!
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge