Grant Barrett gbarrett at AMERICANDIALECT.ORG
Mon Apr 26 17:48:56 UTC 1999

Journalist and writer Jon Katz writes a stimulating article on high
schools as bastions of oppression, and uses the word "Hellmouth" to describe


I've never heard of hellmouth before, but a definition I found at
http://members.aol.com/hecate6666/I25Y3.htm leads me to believe Hellmouth
originated in some fantasy/role-playing game, either digital or analog:

[open quote]

Giles continued. “You kids will never stop beating around the proverbial
bush,” he chastised them. He spoke bluntly. “This town is over a

“A what?” she asked, breaking her silence. She was hoping she heard

“A Hellmouth,” he repeated. “A center of mystical convergence. Basically,
everything you’ve ever been told doesn’t exist does, and it’s here.
Vampires, werewolves, witches...God, I wish Xander was here. He would sound
even more tactless than I do.” 

[close quote]

All of the other links I found on the Internet support this point of
view, but I would be curious to find the true source to this name.

Grant Barrett
gbarrett at americandialect.org

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