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



Aug 19, 2013
This week's theme
Baddies from fiction

This week's words
bluebeard
procrustes
siren
gorgon
Dr. Strangelove

Bluebeard
Bluebeard about to kill his last wife
Art: Frédéric Lix (1830-1897)

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

A few weeks ago we saw baddies from the real world, and now it's time to visit the rogues' gallery from fiction. This week we'll see a killer, a maimer, a seducer, a petrifier, and an evil scientist.

Which world do you think has worse baddies? Factual or fictional?

Bluebeard

PRONUNCIATION:
(BLOO-beerd)

MEANING:
noun: A man who marries and kills one wife after another.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Bluebeard, nickname of Raoul, the blue-bearded main character in a fairy tale by Charles Perrault (1628-1703). In the story, Bluebeard's wife finds the bodies of his previous wives in a room she was forbidden to enter. The feminine equivalent of the word could be black widow. Earliest documented use: 1795.

USAGE:
"I'd always considered you more of a monk than a Bluebeard. This new pattern is somewhat a concern."
Cathy Maxwell; Treasured Vows; Avon; 2004.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting. -Edmund Burke, statesman and writer (1729-1797)

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

© 2014 Wordsmith