Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vampires 'n' Judas

On a recent episode of QI I saw the comedian Trevor Noah mention that silver is good for killing vampires as well as werewolves. The tradition being that Judas became the first vampire after his death and that the 30 pieces of silver he was given for betraying Jesus would burn him.

He didn't mention red hair, but Judas is often portrayed with it and I've read elsewhere that red hair has been associated with vampirism. Maybe there's a link. I'd never heard the Judas/vampire thing before, but it would be interesting to see if it's a genuine tradition, and if it is, how far it goes back.

I've just had a quick ping round the Internet and came across this;
Summers' 1928 book The Vampire: His Kith and Kin mentions that in particular red-headed vampires are considered the most dangerous, and trace their red hair back to Judas (or even Cain). He gives some 13th-century Latin references for this myth. Notably he states that in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania, Vampires are called "Children of Judas".

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Etymology of the Word "Ginger"

I recently received a really interesting email from a guy named Jeff Green regarding the etymology of the word ginger. He's kindly allowed me to share the email on here;
"I have been trying to research the origins of the word ginger as I am a redhead.  I have a theory that you may or may not find of interest.
Obviously, everybody refers to the ginger plant, with it’s red flower as the reason for calling redheads ginger.  The question that I can’t find a satisfactory answer to is how the plant got the name.
I’ve searched for any words that are similar to ginger and I came across an old Akkadian word – Gingira meaning Goddess or female creator.  The name Gingira can be used to refer to the various goddesses of ancient empires from Babylon to Egypt (Ishtar, Astarte, Innana, Isis etc).  My on-going studies will naturally go down the road of what colour hair these goddesses actually had.  I’ve seen a few of Madonna’s recent Goddess performances on Youtube and it caught my eye that she doesn’t use make-up to give a more melanin enriched appearance!  If these goddesses were readheads, then calling someone ginger haired would really mean that you were calling them goddess haired.  I think the plant is just a middle-man in the history of ginger/redhead.
Just a theory but more than plausible."
This is the first time I've ever heard anyone suggest this theory and it seems like a promising path to go down. If anyone has any information that would help it would be most appreciated.