Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A to Z Challenge 2013: N - Necromancy

Necromancy

nec·ro·man·cy [nekrəˌmansē] n. The practice of supposedly communicating with the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future.

Synonyms: none

Etymology: c.1300, nygromauncy, "divination by communication with the dead," from Old French nigromancie "magic, necromancy, witchcraft, sorcery," from Medieval Latin nigromantia (13c.), from Latin necromantia "divination from an exhumed corpse," from Greek nekromanteia, from nekros "dead body" (see necro-) + manteia "divination, oracle," from manteuesthai "to prophesy," from mantis "prophet" (see mania). Spelling influenced in Medieval Latin by niger "black," on notion of "black arts." Modern spelling is a mid-16c. correction. Related: Necromantic.

19 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

I didn't realize this meant communicating with the dead. I always think of its sorcery and magical aspects. Another great word.

Elise Fallson said...

I always thought this was more about bringing back the dead. Wow, shows how little I know about this word.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And one step away from doing something else with the dead.

Sally said...

I hope I can remember all these true meanings of the words at the end of the month.

Tina said...

I thought this word meant something else entirely - I think Alex and I are on the same wavelength here...ick.

Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

Jenelle Leanne said...

Most fantasy novels use this to mean raising the dead to a zombie-like state. I had no idea that's not what the word actually meant. Interesting!

S. L. Hennessy said...

It's a creepy and awesome practice.

farawayeyes said...

I know this one, but I have to say 'Necromantic', made me giggle.

Old Kitty said...

Interesting that the word "romantic" is hidden in there! Take care
x

Melanie Schulz said...

That was not where I thought you were going with this word. Close, though. LOL.

Sarah Ahiers said...

I'm a big fan of necromancy. Good times. Good times.

mshatch said...

Ah necromancy, one of my favorite talents ;)

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

Like communicating with one's dead skeletal brother.

Andrew Leon said...

This is one where I've been corrupted by D&D in my understanding of the word. But, of course, King Saul (in the Bible) got in trouble for necromancy.

Tiffany Garner said...

Thanks for the simple, succinct, definition. I think necromancy is something the majority of people misinterpret.

Nick Wilford said...

I didn't know about the predicting the future angle. It would make more sense to ask them about the past!

Rick Daley said...

H.P. Lovecraft used this word as the basis for the Necronomicon, a book he made up that countless people have referenced in their own fiction and/or mistook as real.

Kristen Dyrr said...

The etymology is very interesting on this one.

#atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

Joe Lunievicz said...

This is another great word. Not used much but should be. I mean it sounds so... creepy and fascinating all at the same time.