More Hellmouth

Grant Barrett gbarrett at AMERICANDIALECT.ORG
Mon Apr 26 19:58:21 UTC 1999

I'm now on campus and have access to a few of the university-paid-for
online resources. More about Hellmouth/hellmouth/hell-mouth:

Clockwork Universe has this quote (
tml )

"Anyone who remembers the Firesign Theater's hilarious paranoid fantasy
        "Everything You Know Is Wrong" record, will recall that the protagonist of
that opus was Dr. Harry "Happy" Cox, a saucer nut who recorded tapes in
his "award-winning communications trailer ... in Hellmouth, California".)"

Hellmouth-Firesign connection also made at


The United States Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System
returns no listings for "Hellmouth" in any form for any geological
features anywhere in the US or its territories. (USGS Name System is at ). 

The GEONet Names Server ( )
searched the whole world and came up with "Hell Mouth: see Neigwl, Porth BAY  
52°48'00"N    4°35'00"W"," which I believe is somewhere on the coast of


A January 8, 1991 article from the Boston Globe has this about the
medieval Church's version of hell:

"The pictorial hell, here represented in gorgeous illuminations, mosaics
and sculptures, is pretty boisterous too: Devils poke pitchforks through
thighs, sinners boil in cauldrons or flail about in a "hellmouth," whose
monstrous jaws surely must have inspired the giant sandworms of the
fictional planet Dune." 


Related to the above, I'm sure, Samuel Purchas, in _Purchas His
Pilgrimes_ , 14:108-9. "We Englishmen under the government of his Majestie, have
enjoyed such a Sunshine of peace, that our Summers day to many hath beene
tedious," while the Russian emperors have engendered a "Hellmouth centre,
there pitching the Tents of Destruction, there erecting the Thrones of


JSTOR returns 15 hits for hellmouth and variants, most of them relating
to Shakespeare and medieval works.

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