Silver bullet

Posted by Bob on October 17, 2003

In Reply to: Silver bullet posted by Brian from Shawnee on October 17, 2003

: : : Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "silver bullet"?

: : In wolfman lore, only a bullet made of silver could kill a wolfman.

: Also called "werewolf". A werewolf appears to be a normal human, but when the moon is full, they slowly grow all hairy, and they grow fangs, and claws, and then they're seized by an uncontrollable urge to run around in torn clothing, maiming innocent passersby. And any human bitten by a werewolf, becomes one themselves!

: In the Jack Nicholson movie "Wolf" from the early 90's, they completely avoided the word "werewolf", substituting something like "wolf spirit". I thought it was silly to make a movie about werewolves and then pretend to be too up-market to use the word.

Silver bullets were the ammo of choice for The Lone Ranger, an archetypal Western hero from radio days. "Silver bullet" is also a term used in problem-solving, particularly in medical research, to denote a solution to a problem which will magically cure _______ (fill in the disease.) Usually offered with some skepticism, since most silver bullets eventually disappoint. Also "magic bullet." The extravagence of using a precious metal to replace humble lead is a signal of magical properties.