Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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woodwose

woodwose or wodewose (WOOD-wohz) - n., a hairy wildman of the woods.


I should probably mark that definition as obs., as well as myth. -- for it is a creature from European folklore, a sasquatch-like figure of a man, covered with (and dressed only in) hair, who lives in the forest alone. Or maybe not entirely obsolete, as it still shows up in art history and heraldry, given the number of depictions of woodwoses in paintings, tapestries, and coats of arms. The word dates back to Old English in the form wuduwāsa, where the wood/wode/wud part meant mad in the sense of crazy -- a madman, literally.

To these men in their rich cloaks, these ladies in their gowns, I must have looked like a beggar of the wilds, a woodwose.

---L.
Tags: noun, old english, w
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