Superfluous Lexicon #13

I can't believe it. #13 on the week of Halloween. It's almost like I planned it out that way...

Zack S. Westby Zack S. West

I didn't.  But let's commence with some Halloween-themed words like I did!


I will admit that I am a big fan of the undead. I love skeletons, zombies… pretty much anything that used to be alive but certainly isn't any longer, but is still moving. I can't tell you for sure where my love comes from, and I hope it's nothing twisted, but I can tell you seeing Army of Darkness as a kid was probably a big part of it. Another chunk would be how many cool words like eidolonare involved. Eidolon, specifically, means a ghost or apparition, but even just that has a dozen great synonyms. Shadow, specter, wraith, revenant, phantom, phantasm, poltergeist… and the best TV execs can come up with is Ghost Hunters? Weak, guys. Weak.

Example Sentence: Check out my new show, Excavating Eidolons, Tuesdays at 1am on UHF 55.


Of course, this being Halloween, we can't leave out witchcraft! Diablerie generally refers to dark sorcery and complex witchcraft, but as it's not a science, the exact classification differs widely from source to source. To me, it sounds like something that must involve at minimum normal blood, and at most the blood of either young animals or female virgins. And probably fire. Does blood boil? It is a liquid, right? It's boiling point would be higher than water. Would the water boil out and you'd just get a vat of cooked solid blood? Would you be able to get it hot enough in a witch's cauldron? I feel like I should know these things, but I shouldn't, right? It's okay that I don't?

Example Sentence: Diableriesounds cool, but also sounds like cleanup would be unpleasant.


This is pretty scary, actually. Lycathrope is the scientific term for werewolf. Let's think about this for a second. First of all, the scientific community has thought about werewolves enough to declare what their name would be if they were, in fact, not fiction. Does that mean they need to clasiffy it apart from other were-people? Turns out, after a little research, the general term for were-person is Terianthrope. Meaning the genus and species of the fictional animal "werewolf"is terianthrope lycanthrope. A fictional genus and species. Everybody soak it in.

Example Sentence: Boy, that lycanthrope sure can dunk!


Warning: This is gross and dirty. I've gotten over it since I learned the word in elementary school, but some aren't so lucky, and the concept inherent to necrophilia is disgusting. Skip this one if you had fundamental issues with the 2nd season of Buffy, or can't watch that scene from Re-Animator. You know the one I'm talking about. (link?)

Necrophilia is the act of doing it with dead people. There, I said it. And I'm sure a lot of you are giggling about what I said back in eidolon and thinking I'm a necrophiliac. I'm not. That's freaking disgusting. It may have happened in a number of my favorite movies, and I did hang out in graveyards as a teenager. But seriously, what kind of person do you think I am?

Example Sentence: Clearly not a necrophiliac.I would never. For shame.


In keeping with the "starting with the prefix Necro" theme, we have the reason I am not a necrophiliac. When something is necrotic, that is when it is dead and blackened and rotting. Generally used for the flesh of deceased people or animals, it also refers to pieces of flesh that are no longer alive. For example, when you suffer from hypothermia, the necrotic flesh needs to be removed. The way it applies to Halloween is obvious. Necrotic things are all over halloween. Zombies in particular are covered from head to toe. Honestly, it's a gross topic, and I'd prefer not talking about it anymore.

Example Sentence: Zombie Woody Allen: This time, he's neurotic AND necrotic.


Finally, we arrive at charnel. We all eventually will, anyhow. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA a charnel is a place to put bones. What? Oooooh, I see what you did there. No, that's a weird euphemism, and I won't have it catching on. A charnel is like a bone bank, where the security deposit boxes are filled with your ancestors. I don't necessarily understand the logic of putting dead people in drawers, but what are you gonna do? Some people are just wacky.

Example Sentence: Happy Halloween everybody, and stay out of the charnel!