Silver bullet (figurative 1945)

Michael Quinion wordseditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Mon Jan 10 16:10:56 UTC 2011

Charles Doyle wrote:

> It is somewhat commonly reported--as in a novel I've been reading
> (Elizabeth Kostova'a _The Historian_)--that Stoker's _Dracula_ mentions the
> silver bullet among several vampire repellants.  As far as my memory
> serves, however, (often not very far) that information is incorrect.

Indeed. Surely you must use a sharp wooden stake for a vampire. Silver
bullets are effective against werewolves, witches and the devil. Sir
Walter Scott, for example, several times mentions silver bullets used to
counter such.

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words

The American Dialect Society -

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