6 Words About Vampires

bela

As a writer, I love words. As a vampire fan, I write about vampires. It seems natural to combine it all into one post; and so, I bring you words about vampires…

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Related: “Sanguisugent” (adj), blood sucking or blood thirsty. Wikionary says “sanguisuge” is obsolete, but I think it’s due for a comeback.

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I’ve written about revenants, if you’re curious to find out more. The word itself was coined in 1814 by Laetitia Matilda Hawkins in Rosanne:

“‘Well, but what is it? What do you call it in French?’ ‘Why, revenant, to be sure. Un revenant.'”

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“Philosophy will clip an Angel’s wings,
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
Empty the haunted air, and gnomèd mine—
Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made
The tender-person’d Lamia melt into a shade.”  -John Keats, “Lamia”

Fun etymology: Lamia literally means “swallower, lecher,” from laimos “throat, gullet.” (Source). Read more about them in my post here.

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The first use of “undead” was c. 1400, but its use as a noun to mean vampires and other creatures dates from 1904. (Source)
“It’s a reflex. Hear a bell, get food. See an undead, throw a knife. Same thing, really.” -Ilona Andrews, Magic Bites
6 Words About Vampires, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, word, words, vocabulary, vampire, vampires, exsanguinate, exsanguination, word meaning bleed to death, x files, pinnable image, aspasiasbissas.com
I know the word exsanguinate from the X-Files episode “Eve,” but it was first used around 1800, coming from the Latin exsanguinatus, meaning bloodless or deprived of blood.
“My first word of the new year was ‘exsanguinate.’ This was probably not a good omen.”
-Charlaine Harris, Dead to the World.
you had me at
And of course, we can’t forget the word that all the others relate to:
vampire

The earliest form of the word “vampire” dates to only 1734, although stories of monsters that rise from the dead and attack the living can be found even in ancient times. The idea of blood-gorged walking corpses goes back to at least the 1100s. There’s some debate as to where the word comes from, but it most likely has its roots in the Old Church Slavonic “opiri.”  (Source)

“It was too much, the weight of it all was too much. Maybe that was why emotions were deadened in vampires; the alternative was to be overtaken by them, crippled, left stranded and isolated and trapped by unbearable sensation. How could they hunt if they felt sympathy, empathy, love for their prey? How could they —how could she —live with themselves?” Aspasía S. Bissas, Love Lies Bleeding

Yes, that’s a quote from my own book (I’m sneaky that way). Get my books to find even more words about vampires:

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer a good paperback to an ebook, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Did I miss your favourite word about vampires? Let me know in the comments…

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

A Lesson in Education

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I had an unusual linguistic upbringing. Growing up, I heard mostly Greek at home (I spoke a mix of Greek and English). I also lived in a French province for the first nine years of my life. When I started school, it was at an English school, with French lessons starting in grade 1 (we eventually moved to an anglophone province, and I continued taking French until I graduated). My mom taught me the basics in Greek, and I had a very small amount of Greek school on weekends (I don’t think it amounted to a full year).

I never heard French at home, except when flipping past the French channels on TV. I never had anyone to speak French with outside of classes, and I only occasionally read anything in French. But I heard Greek constantly, spoke it often, and read and wrote it occasionally. I’d have conversations all the time with older relatives (granted, they did most of the talking, but I still felt I had a solid grasp of Greek). If anyone asked I would have said I was fluent in Greek and knew some French.

Then I decided to take lessons.

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I had a language learning app taking up space on my phone, so I finally decided to give it a try to see if it was worth hanging on to. I chose French as the language to learn since I’d been wanting to improve my skills for a while. The app starts off by testing you to see how much you know. I breezed through the test and got to skip ahead to more advanced lessons. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I remembered and how easy much of it was (that said– keeping track of the gender of words and then adjusting all the words in a sentence accordingly is exhausting).

L’homme est canadien (the man is Canadian)
La femme est canadienne (the woman is Canadian)
Les hommes sont canadiens (the men are Canadian)
Les femmes sont canadiennes (the women are Canadian)*

 

(*These aren’t even the most complicated examples– wait until you need to start describing inanimate objects…)

It was great to find out that I wasn’t as bad at French as I thought. And since it was going so well, I decided I’d might as well improve my Greek while I was at it.

Considering Greek is technically my first language (I started picking up English as a toddler), that initial test was not as easy as I expected. Unlike with French, I did not get to skip ahead to more advanced lessons. I discovered I didn’t even know some basics– my vocabulary and spelling are much worse than I realized (but at least my conjugation is good).

After a few minutes on the app, I realized I knew only some Greek and quite a bit more French than I’d assumed. Not what I expected.

It turns out the formal French lessons that I had in school made an impression that’s stuck with me decades later. Meanwhile, learning Greek mostly by “osmosis” let me down. There’s something positive to be said about rote learning and formal education, after all.

My years of absorbing Greek haven’t totally gone to waste. The knowledge I’ve picked up has definitely made the app lessons easier (I’m seriously impressed by anyone who can learn this language from scratch). Since starting the lessons, however, I’ve already seen a major improvement, especially in spelling, vocabulary, and reading. I’m probably only up to an Elementary School level of proficiency so far,  but I finally feel that I’m getting a real grasp on the language I’ve known all my life.

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As someone who’s always been more inclined to learn on my own rather than take a class, this has been eye opening. It’s amazing the difference that actual lessons can make. I’m excited to keep using the app, not only to keep learning French and Greek, but also to expand on my two years of high-school Spanish, and– hopefully– to learn a new language or two. The next time I’m tempted to learn something new, I think I’m going to find a class to take instead of assuming I can figure it out myself.

How about you– have you taken any classes lately, or are there any you want to take? Share in the comments…

Find out what I can do with language (including a bit of French) by getting my books 🙂

Love Lies Bleeding by Aspasia S. Bissas, Blood Magic by Aspasia S. Bissas, Tooth & Claw by Aspasia S. Bissas, books, free books, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, gothic, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer a good paperback to an ebook, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

 

7 More Words About Books

7 Words About Books, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
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Of all the words in the English language, some of the best ones (yes, they’re ranked) are about books and reading. Here are seven of them…

7 Words About Books, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas

Don’t we all have that one book we really meant to return? Wait– is it just me?

 

7 Words About Books, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas

If only my TBR were this small…

 

7 Words About Books, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas

Well, I’ve certainly never done that. Nope, not the kind of thing I do at all, or ever would.

 

7 Words About Books, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas

Everyone seems to love the smell of books, but I’m strangely immune. I feel like I’m missing out.

 

7 Words About Books, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas

I’m a happy member of this club ♥

 

7 Words About Books, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas

Always take a book with you (clutching it to your chest is optional).

 

7 Words About Books, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas

All readers know this fear.

 

What do you think– can you relate to any of these? Share in the comments…

You might also like my last “Words About Books” post.

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas