This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Word To Use Today: zombie.

The strange thing about zombies - well, one of the strange things about zombies - is that they used to be good luck.

Admittedly that was a long time ago.

Nowadays the best you can hope for from a zombie is that he's a)alive and completely human, and b) totally lacking in independent thought and judgement. This might be because he's tired. On the other hand, it might be because he's stupid.

You see the thing is that zombies are only half-there. Some zombies have human bodies (usually dead ones), but their spirits have been replaced by some foreign thing. Alternatively, a zombie astral is a part of a human spirit without any body at all. You can buy them in bottles to help you with your business dealings, but they have a limited shelf-life because eventually God takes them back. Or so they say. 

A zombie company is one which can pay the interest on its debts, but not pay off the debt itself.

A zombie computer code spreads a virus to another computer.

So where have all these zombies come from? Well, West Africa, probably, where Zombie is a voodoo snake god.

Where do you find them today, at Halloween?

On your doorstep.

Give them some sweets. That's my advice. They say that feeding zombies salt cures them, but it's not worth the risk.

Just give them some flipping sweets!

Word To Use Today: zombie. Zombie was first used in English in 1819, though  it was the 1929 novel The Magic Island by William Seabrook that brought it into general use. The word is West African, and is probably related to the Kongo words nzambi, god and zumbi, good-luck fetish.

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