Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

ZOMBIE

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

ZOMBIE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon May 14, 2012 10:17 pm

• zombie •

Pronunciation: zahm-bee • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A soulless corpse raised from the dead by a voodoo priest. 2. A dull, slow-witted person with no will-power. 3. A computer over which someone other than the owner has control. Such a computer is usually used to distribute spam.

Notes: Today's word is special in meaning and origin. The meaning is special because it refers to a specific type of ghost and the origin is special because it comes from Africa. Zombies look like humans but without souls or wills. They are usually depicted as being under the control of someone else. We have a few derivations from this word, though. Two adjectives have been vetted, zombiesque and zomboid, both of which mean "like a zombie". Zombiism means "the state of a zombie" or "belief in zombies". Zombify has been used to mean to "turn into a zombie". This has led to zombification and zombified.

In Play: Since we have generally freed ourselves from superstitions like voodoo, we usually restrict ourselves to the second, metaphorical sense of this word: "The morning after the party Harry Wormser-Goode felt like a zombie, unable to get up or think straight if at all." Remember, zombies have little will-power of their own: "Will Dolittle just sat there, like a zombie, and agreed with whatever the boss said."

Word History: Today's Good Word is a rare bird, a word of West African origin. It has been adapted from Kikongo zumbi "an object believed to have magic powers" or Kimbundu nzambi "(python) deity" in West African voodoo cults. Whichever one was the actual origin, when the voodoo cults were transported to the US and Caribbean, its meaning somehow slipped over to a soulless corpse revived by witchcraft. The meaning "dull, slow-witted person" came from the metaphorical sense of "like a zombie", since zombies are usually portrayed as slow-moving, simple-minded figures. (We thank Kathleen McCune of Norway for suggesting today's Good Word, despite the fact that there are no zombies in Norway.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3531
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue May 15, 2012 11:47 am

If you are intimately familiar with Haiti, you will know that zombies are real. No, they aren't really the living dead. They are living people who have been given a poison by the voodoo priest that dulls their intelligence and makes them totally controllable. When this happens they are zombies for life and are the slaves of the voodoo priest. My cousin lived in Haiti for about thirty years. Having personally encountered them, he will testify to the reality of this kind of zombie.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri May 18, 2012 1:04 pm

I've been to Haiti, but have not run into this.
However, I can readily believe it.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3447
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water


Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 7 guests