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vampire

A discussion of word histories and origins.

vampire

Postby eberntson » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:40 am

n. A reanimated corpse that is believed to rise from the grave at night to suck the blood of sleeping people.
n. A person, such as an extortionist, who preys upon others.
n. A vampire bat.
(src: American Heritage dictionary)

French, from German Vampir, of Slavic origin. French, from German Vampir, of Slavic origin.

My favorite high school English teacher despised the Anglophil prejudice that is prevalent in education and apparently reference materials in this country. Why does this have to end as Slavic origin? Don't we have resources to track this back to an Indo-European or other root.

In college, I read some of Montague Summers work on monsters and I'm sure the man had read everything on religion and the occult for the last three thousand years. I bet he would have know the root of the word. I will say that Dracula is only one of many literary and historical characters associated with this form devil.
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Re: vampire

Postby Slava » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:44 pm

Slavic doth appear to be the root. Here's what etymonline has to say on the matter:

1734, from Fr. vampire or Ger. Vampir (1732, in an account of Hungarian vampires), from Hung. vampir, from O.C.S. opiri (cf. Serb. vampir, Bulg. vapir, Ukrainian uper), said by Slavic linguist Franc Miklošič to be ultimtely from Kazan Tatar ubyr "witch," but Max Vasmer, an expert in this linguistic area, finds that phonetically doubtful. An Eastern European creature popularized in English by late 19c. gothic novels, however there are scattered English accounts of night-walking, blood-gorged, plague-spreading undead corpses from as far back as 1196. Applied 1774 by French biologist Buffon to a species of South American blood-sucking bat.
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Re: vampire

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:55 am

Is a vamp a female vampire?
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Re: vampire

Postby bnjtokyo » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:44 am

More or less. The Online Etymology Dictionary says it is "short for vampire" First attested use in 1911. But not specifically a "female vampire." Rather it seems to be a reduction of "vampire" that is only applied to women.
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Re: vampire

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:42 pm

i.e. a maneater!
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Re: vampire

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:25 pm

Hard hearted Hannah, the vamp of Savannah, G A.

The rhyme is good but the alliteration is better.
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