|66 : transmogrify
||[Sep. 5th, 2004|03:58 pm]
Word Of The Day
transmogrify (v) \transs-MAH-gruh-fye\|
: to change or alter greatly and often with grotesque or humorous effect
The movie's central character finds an odd-looking pair of glasses and is transmogrified into a heroic crime-fighter when he puts them on.
We know that the prefix "trans-" means "across" or "beyond" and appears in many words that evoke change, such as "transform" and "transpire," but we don't know the exact origins of "transmogrify." The 17th-century dramatist, novelist, and poet Aphra Behn, who is regarded as England's first female professional writer, was among the first English authors to use the word. In her 1671 comic play "The Amorous Prince" Behn wrote, "I wou'd Love would transmogriphy me to a maid now." A century later, Scottish poet Robert Burns plied the word again in verse, aptly capturing the grotesque and sometimes humorous effect of transmogrification: "Social life and Glee sit down, ... Till, quite transmugrify'd, they're grown Debauchery and Drinking."