"Horrible" as a noun?

Jocelyn Limpert jocelyn.limpert at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 26 00:39:08 UTC 2011

I've been informed that "horrible" is being used as a noun in a soon-to-be
published book, a possible best seller.

Does anyone know who coined this usage and if it is now in fairly common
usage?  Had anyone heard it much?

I found the following at diffen.com

*horrible as a Noun* The use of "horrible" as a noun is fairly rare. A
person wearing a funny or gross costume in a parade of
horribles<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parade_of_horribles>is called
*a horrible*.

Read more: Horrible vs Horrific - Difference and Comparison |

I found the following in Wikipedia:

*horrible* (*plural* *horribles<http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/horribles#English>

   1. A thing that causes horror <http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/horror>; a
   terrifying <http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/terrifying> thing, particularly
   a prospective bad consequence asserted as likely to result from an act.
    [quotations ▲]
      - *1851*, Herman Melville, *Moby Dick* *Here's a carcase. I know not
      all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it
laughing. Such
      a waggish leering as lurks in all your horribles!*
      - *1982*, United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, *The
      Genocide Convention: Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations,
      United States Senate* *A lot of the possible horribles conjured up by
      the people objecting to this convention ignore the plain language of this
      - *1991*, Alastair Scott, *Tracks Across Alaska: A Dog Sled Journey* *The
      pot had previously simmered skate wings, cods' heads, whales,
pigs' hearts
      and a long litany of other horribles.*
      - *2000*, John Dean, CNN
      January 21, 2000: *I'm trying to convince him that the criminal
      behavior that's going on at the White House has to end. And I
give him one
      horrible after the next. I just keep raising them. He sort of swats
      them away.*
      - *2001*, Neil K. Komesar, *Law's Limits: The Rule of Law and the
      Supply and Demand of Rights* *Many scholars have demonstrated these
      horribles and contemplated significant limitations on class actions.*

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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