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If looks could kill

Posted by Smokey Stover on November 01, 2006

In Reply to: If looks could kill posted by pamela on October 31, 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."
: : SS

: 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

Turned. Absent a vampire expert onsite, I'll volunteer my opinion, which is that a vampire has the choice of just drinking your blood (leaving you dead), or turning you into a vampire, too, which leaves you another one of the living dead. That's what "to turn" means in vampirese.