lycanthropy


human to werewolf transformation

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“High school is a tough time for any teenager, and made even tougher by LYCANTHROPY (i.e. werewolf-dom), as both Michael J. Fox and Jason Bateman learn in these 1980s horror-comedies.”

Nick Schager - Esquire Magazine

Did you
know?

lycanthropy
noun

1. a delusion that one has become a wolf
2. the assumption of the form and characteristics of a wolf held to be possible by witchcraft or magic

Merriam-Webster


ORIGIN

Lycanthropy refers to the delusional idea that one is a wolf or that one has been transformed into a werewolf.

In some cultures, similar myths involve human transformation into other equally feared animals: hyenas and leopards in Africa, for example, and tigers in Asia.

The word lycanthropy itself, however, comes from the Greek words lykos, meaning “wolf,” and anthropos, meaning “human being.” Werewolf myths are usually associated with the phases of the moon; the animal nature of the werewolf is typically thought to take over when the moon is full.


CLINICAL v. MYTHOLOGICAL LYCANTHROPY

Clinical lycanthropy is a recognised psychological disorder in which sufferers believe they are turning into a wolf. Fortunately, modern psychiatric therapy has advanced considerably since the Middle Ages, when sufferers were presumed to be possessed by the devil and were burnt at the stake.

Without medical knowledge, it is easy to see how our ancestors would have turned to supernatural explanations for how the viral infection rabies was contracted.

Harry Potter fans will recognize lycanthropy in Harry’s teacher Remus Lupin (note the name) who used Wolfsbane Potion to keep his madness under control. Wolfsbane is in fact a very poisonous plant which, was used by people throughout history to kill 'nuisance' animals, including wolves.

Interestingly, the element silver has anti-bacterial properties, associating nicely with the belief that only a silver bullet can kill a werewolf.


PRACTICE OWAD in an English conversation, discuss something like:

“As wolves begin to re-populate Western Europe, LYCANTHROPY may become an even more popular topic of conversation.”


THANKS to Florian for suggesting today’s word


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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