Wordwatch Towers

A plain language guide to punctuation, grammar and writing well.

Posts Tagged ‘vampyre

Revamps, vamps and vampires

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Thinking of having a revamp? Then you’re probably not planning a trip to your local shoe repair shop.

If you revamp something or vamp it up a little you’re making it better or improving it in some way. So why the shoes? I’m glad you asked, because I’ve just found out.

Polidori: Byron’s personal physician, author of The Vampyre, and maverick speller

The word ‘vamp‘ has its origins in Middle English and referred to the foot of a stocking. The word was later used to mean attaching a new upper to a boot or shoe. It was probably sometime in the nineteenth century (views differ) when the term ‘revamp’ began to be used in a much more general sense to refer to making improvements.

Vamp can also mean a woman who sets out to exploit men.  In this case, the word is related to ‘vampire‘, referring to a corpse who drinks the blood of the living.

(Favourite moans revisited: the sheer amount of female-specific abusive words that exist is covered here).

By the way, men can be vampires too. But they’d probably wear shoes more like these:

 

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Written by Wordwatch

25/04/2017 at 3:02 pm

Posted in Wordwatching

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