Silver bullet (figurative 1945)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 10 20:32:25 UTC 2011

1816 _The British Review, and London Journal_ VII (Feb.) 108: This had been
described to him by a negro as a walking vampire of the height of a man;
which could only be killed by a silver bullet.

The incident referred to occurs in _The Journal of Llewelyn Penrose, a
Seaman_ (1815), which the reviewer cited concludes is most likely a work of
fiction.  Its publication appears to antedate Scott's _Bride of Lammermoor_,
which contains the witch/bullet passage.


On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 2:04 PM, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Silver bullet (figurative 1945)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Review of Stoker's novel shows Van Helsing pointing out several
> weaknesses of the vampire, including: "a sacred bullet fired into the
> coffin kill him so that he be true dead". I don't know exactly which
> bullets are sacred: maybe it's understood that this refers to a bullet
> specially blessed by the priest or something like that. I see no mention
> of a silver bullet.
> -- Doug Wilson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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