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August 13, 2020

Word of the Day: Werewolf

1 CQ

Word of the Day : October 31, 2017

werewolf \WAIR-woolf\ noun


: a person transformed into a wolf or capable of assuming a wolf's form


"The John Landis-directed video opens with a disclaimer stating that by creating the music video, [Michael] Jackson in no way endorsed supernatural practices—which includes the belief that humans could ever transform into werewolves." — Leslie Richin,, 2 Dec. 2016

"It's true, the fashion community and the supernatural don't always mix. Werewolves, for one, are not very respectful when it comes to their outfits—they tend to tear away their clothes." — Marshall Heyman, Harper's, 14 Feb. 2017

Did You Know?

Though some doubts about the word's etymology still remain, werewolf probably comes from a prehistoric West Germanic compound whose constituent parts gave Old English wer ("man") and wulf ("wolf"). The word is related to Middle Dutch weerwulf and Old High German werwolf. Another rather obscure word for werewolf is lycanthrope, which traces back through Latin to a Greek combination of lyk- (from lykos, meaning "wolf") and anthrōpos (meaning "human being"). English also sometimes makes use of the French-derived word loup-garou, from Old French leu ("wolf") and garoul or garulf (a word of Germanic origin meaning "werewolf").

Aired October 31, 2017

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