Word of the Week: Gorgonise


To have a paralysing or mesmerising effect on someone. 

A bit like:  paralyse, petrify, or hypnotise.

As in: “Then he got up on stage, took of his shirt and started belly dancing. I was utterly gorgonised.” 

From: Early 17th century

Origin: You’ll have to think back to your Greek mythology to get this one. From the root word ‘gorgon’, which generally refers to any horrifying female, and more particularly to any of three sisters (Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa) who had hair made of of living, venomous snakes, and a terrifying face which turned those who looked at it into stone.

Who used it: The likes of Lord Tennyson who wrote, “Gorgonised me from head to foot / With a stony British stare” in Maud, 1855.


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