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Feb 14, 2014This week's theme
Words coined in science fiction
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Actor Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster
Photo: Universal Studios
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There's a word for it
A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
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.
After Victor Frankenstein, who creates a monster from parts of corpses in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel, Frankenstein. Earliest documented use: 1827.
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).
"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)
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