Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Gorgonize – Wordplay Wednesday™ 10/23/2019

Her Stare would Freeze Jello 

‘Tis the Season of the Witch, ya-all. What’s your vision of a witch? Wicked Witch of the West or sparkly Glinda, Good Witch of the North?* Of course, there are male witches too—but Season of the Warlock just doesn’t have the same spooky ring (and wasn’t a cool song by Donovan). (*From Wizard of Oz, the best witchy movie to watch this time of year.)

For some of us, our witchy woman character with the petrifying scowl didn’t come from a movie or Halloween costume. She influenced our childhood as a family or friend alter-ego …

GORGONIZE (gôrʹgɘn īz’) vt. – to petrify or stupefy, as with a look. [WW #239]

1895 by Carlos Schwabe
Any of three Greek mythology sisters with snakes for hair, known as the Gorgons is likely responsible for this mind-freezing word. Did you know Medusa had two sisters? One look from Stheno (sthee-noh), Euryale (yoo-rye-uh-lee) or the famed Medusa, caused such horror that the beholder instantly turned to stone. Gorgonize at its worst.

While the Greeks feared the Gorgon, my pillar of stone happened when my angered mother turned her flashing black eyes on us … trust me, we froze! Of course, never able to stay irritated with us long, she softened quickly. Nevertheless, we felt the gorgonizing tingle of her glare.

Throughout the centuries, witches, warlocks, and sorcerers have shared a reputation for a gorgonizing stare that can stop you in your tracks. Or turn you into a stone pillar. Or fixate on your mind with an image of horror.

Oooooohhhh, lighten up! Are we spooked yet? If gorgonizing doesn’t do it for your inner horror being this week, perhaps next week’s final spooky word will make you quake in your boots—or sandals, or slippers, or—but I digress.

Word Challenge: GORGONIZE. A horrifyingly fun word to slip into your casual Halloween conversation, or gorgonizing week of malevolent writings.

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

Wicked Witch of the West       

[LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books (of three) in her Blast from Your Past series about pioneering R&R Radio DJs. True behind-the-mic tales make GREAT Holiday Gifts available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!]

Note: Dictionary definitions are quoted from Webster’s New World College Dictionary.
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