Today's Word "Eldritch"

Weird, ghostly, unnatural, frightful, horrible. on

Published in Vocabulary

eldritch \EL-drich\ (adjective) - Weird, ghostly, unnatural, frightful, horrible.

"Cindy told an eldritch tale of being abducted by aliens, who took her to a disco on a nearby planet where they danced her to a state approaching death before returning her home the next morning."


Today's word apparently comes from Middle English elriche from Old English el "strange, other" + rice "realm" and "powerful" (unrelated to modern "rice"). Old English "el" derives from from Proto-Indo-European al- "beyond, other," which also turns up in "else," "ultra," and "alien." Old English "rice" is akin to "rich" and also to German reich "rich" and Reich "empire." Both these words come from PIE reg- which underlies Latin rex, regis "king," regal," "regular," the adjective of "rule," Hindi rajah "king" and maharajah "great king" (with the prefix "maha-" related to the "magna" of our Magna Carta "Great Charter"), but also visible in "magnificent," "magnify," and "magnanimous."


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