Two Words: Grimoire & Hagiography

Two Words: Grimoire and Hagiography

Usually, we try to find one real and one fake word to discuss, but this week we have two real words that just go together for discussion purposes.  These were sent to us, so we cannot claim any special knowledge.  These are also two new words for our vocabulary.

Grimoire, pronounced [grim war], refers to a book of spells or incantations.  What comes to mind at once is the Harry Potter series and the many books of spells.  We assume they would have been referred to officially as grimoires.

Several different sources reference books of magical incantations dating as far back as ancient Mesopotamia in the fourth or fifth century.  But the word grimoire is French and probably dates to the eighteenth century.  The original spelling was grammaire. 

“The sorcerer’s grimoire was filled with spells and potions.”

“The witch’s grimoire held the key to unlocking the mystery of many of her brews.”

“The grimoire contained many warnings about dark potions and spells.”

Separator Black Fancy

Not an exact antigram, but in that neighborhood is hagiography.  Hagiography, pronounced [ha gee og gra fee], refers to the biography of a saint.  Hagiographies may also refer to a biography that idolizes someone.

The word comes from Greek and ends with “graphy,” meaning “to write.”  The first part of the word “hagio,” is also Greek and means saintly or holy.  So, there we have it, another portmanteau.

“In the library at the monastery there were several hagiographies.”

“The Abbot had in his possession a hagiography of Saint Paul.”

“The friar knew that when he died there would be no hagiographies of his life and works.”