TRANSMOGRIFY

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sluggo
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TRANSMOGRIFY

Postby sluggo » Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:20 pm

transmogrify

Pronunciation: trænz-mah-grê-fai • Hear it!

Part of Speech
: Verb, transitive

Meaning: 1. To transfigure or transform into something grotesque, to change or alter the appearance of. 2. To astound, to astonish and confound.

Notes: Because this fake Latinate (from Latin) word is so cleverly contrived, we can derive a complete family of words from it: transmogrification (process noun), transmogrifier (agent noun), transmogrifiable (passive adjective), and so forth and so on. Have fun! There are no tricks of spelling other than the shift of y to i whenever a suffix follows.

In Play: Remember that this Good Word is more specific than transfigure or transform; it means to transfigure for the worse: "Barbara Seville has transmogrified her hair into a ghoulish multicolored pincushion!" Here is how we use both senses of this word in the same sentence: "Herschel was transmogrified by the transmogrification of his date when she removed her make-up."

Word History: This word originated in someone's confused mind before 1656. It was occasionally spelled transmigrafy, which suggests that our Good Word may have resulted from the addition of -fy to transmigure by someone less than fully educated. This corrupted verb is a conflation of transmigrate and transfigure that was used occasionally in the 18th century. Apparently, only people were transmogrified originally; now we can do it to anything. (Chris Stewart, a long-time friend from South Africa, suggested this good but mysterious word.)
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!

sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Postby sluggo » Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:37 pm

For a look at a real transmogrifier, scroll down to just after the fourth colour strip here.

The Wikipedia entry seems to believe the word transmogrifier was invented by Bill Watterson.
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!

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Perry
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Postby Perry » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:33 pm

Very cute!
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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