dark prince

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Oct 12 08:54:40 UTC 2011

At the end of the episode 1:1 of Da Vinci's Inquest, a detective tells
the coroner (Dominic Da Vinci) who's been bugging him about old cases,
"You are the dark prince."

A search of OED finds one quotation under "discreation":

> a1628    F. Greville Life of Sidney (1652) x. 130   The dark Prince,
> that sole author of dis-creation, and dis-order.

UD says, "gothic male"--that certainly fails to apply in either case.
Wiki has an article on The Dark Prince, but that's about a novel by
Chistine Feehan. There is a rapper that goes by the same name, an
unrelated song by Young Heretics, and another similarly titled book
about Dracula. Just this year, convictions were obtained in the "Dark
Prince" murder case, so named because one of the defendants (and the
alleged mastermind) was a Nepalese exchange student who had "claimed
royal lineage" [ http://goo.gl/IqSED ].  But all of these are specific
instances, not the general sense that's present in the two cases above.

Time magazine obit for Bob Guccione (October 21, 2010) is titled,
"Penthouse's Bob Guccione: The Dark Prince of Porn" [
http://goo.gl/bAipH ] This is closer to a generic reference, although
the author ties Guccione to Caligula (an obvious connection because of
Guccione-produced film).

> The girlie-magazine empire declined and fell; and with it ended the
> reign of one of the publishing world's two monarchs of flesh. For if
> Hugh Hefner was the Caesar of magazine sex, Bob Guccione was surely
> its Caligula.

Is there a generic meaning that ought to be identified as such or am I
just guilty of needlessly stirring the pot? I mean, it's no "Prince of
Darkness", but there seems to be the same buzz, going back a few hundred


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

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