Posted by Pamela on October 31, 2006
In Reply to: Re: If looks could kill posted by Smokey Stover on October 27, 2006
: : Hi, for anyone wondering about the origins of "if looks could kill"... not sure if this is its original use, but in Bram Stoker's Dracula, he says "If ever a face meant death - if looks could kill - we saw it at that moment." Referring to Lucy after she has been turned. Dracula was published in the late 1800s, about 1897.
: About 1897? Right on target, 1897 is correct. You ought to let the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary know about this appearance of the phrase. Their first citation is from 1913, and it's the variant, "if looks could slay."
I like the use of the word "turned". Is this standard in vampyre (vampire? I'm never sure) folklore? I've never heard "turned" used in this way before. Pamela