Posted by: Jack Henry | October 31, 2012

Editor’s Corner:

Happy Halloween!

I’ve selected a few Halloweenish words for you today and included abbreviated versions of their definitions from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

· bogeyman: a monstrous imaginary figure used in threatening children; broadly: a terrifying person or thing
Etymology: from bogey + man (bogey: goblin, specter, phantom; an object of dread, fear, or loathing)

· cadaver: a dead human or animal body usually intended for dissection
Etymology: from Latin, from cadere to fall

· crypt: a vault or other chamber wholly or partly underground; especially: a vault under the main floor of a church

· grim reaper (or Grim Reaper): death especially when personified as a man or skeleton with a scythe

· hocus pocus: 1) obsolete: juggler, trickster, sleight of hand 2) words or a formula used (as by jugglers) in pretended incantations without regard to the usual meaning 3) nonsense or sham used or intended to cloak deception <the hocus-pocus of city politics>; broadly: something that confuses, misleads, or is difficult to comprehend
Etymology: probably invented by jugglers in imitation of Latin

· jack-o’-lantern: 1) obsolete: a man carrying a lantern: a night watchman 2) a lantern made of a pumpkin or other vegetable so prepared as to show in illumination features of a human face

· mausoleum: 1) a magnificent tomb 2) a tomb for more than one person
Etymology: Latin, from Greek mausoleion, from Mausolos Mausolus died 353 B.C. ruler of Caria commemorated by a magnificent tomb at Halicarnassus

· phantasm (or fantasm): 1) illusion, deception 2) ghost, specter, spirit 3) a figment of the imagination, fancy, or disordered mind
Etymology: Middle English fantasme, from Old French, from Latin phantasma, from Greek, from phantazein to present to the mind

· specter (or spectre): 1) a visible disembodied spirit apparition, ghost, phantom 2) a ghostly and usually fear-inspiring vision of the imagination: something that haunts or persistently perturbs the mind
Etymology: French spectre, from Latin spectrum appearance, specter, from specere to look

(Photo of Chia Dog from

(Photo of Bat-Dog from

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