Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ



Feb 14, 2014
This week's theme
Words coined in science fiction

This week's words
grok
waldo
tardis
triffid
frankenstein

Frankenstein
Actor Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster
Photo: Universal Studios

This week's comments
AWADmail 607

Next week's theme
There's a word for it
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

frankenstein

PRONUNCIATION:
(FRANG-kuhn-styn)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A creation that gets out of control and brings harm to its creator.
2. One who creates something that brings ruin to himself.
3. A monster having human appearance.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Victor Frankenstein, who creates a monster from parts of corpses in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel, Frankenstein. Earliest documented use: 1827.

NOTES:
In the story, Frankenstein was the creator, not the monster. We should be calling the creation "Frankenstein's monster", but it's out of the control of the novelist now, and the monster itself is called Frankenstein. The prefix franken- has been coined as an uncomplimentary moniker for artificially created things. For example, genetically-modified foods are often called frankenfoods (see frankenfish).

USAGE:
"The Talos-state is no longer a servant of society; it has been transformed into a Frankenstein that is about to move against his inventors."
Kostas A. Lavdas, et al; Stateness and Sovereign Debt; Lexington Books; 2013.

See more usage examples of frankenstein in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Do I love you because you're beautiful, or are you beautiful because I love you? -Oscar Hammerstein II, lyricist (1895-1960)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith