Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dictionary Moment: Snallygaster

The word "snallygaster" caught my eye as I flipped through the SOED the other day.  It looked like a fun word to say, but the definition really got my attention: "a mythical monster supposedly found in Maryland."

Maryland?  I had to learn more.  Wikipedia reports that the snallygaster was reputed to be a dragon-like blood-sucking monster, terrorizing Catoctin Mountain.

I was born and raised in Maryland, and went camping on Catoctin Mountain.  When we got lost on a hike there, my friends and I focussed our giggling concern on running afoul of security at Camp David.  No one ever warned us about the local dragon.  No, years later and a continent away, I learn about it from a foreign dictionary.  I feel safe, but cheated.  Clearly, I'm going to have to do some more research on the snallygaster.

Do you know your local monster?

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