Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A candle used at ceremonious watchings of a corpse before its interment, as at lich-wakes. Candles are set at the head and feet, and often one is set upon the corpse itself.
- n. The will-o'-the-wisp, or ignis fatuus, a luminous exhalation which, when seen in a churchyard, is supposed to portend death, and to indicate by its course the direction the corpse-bearers will take.
“Llan Curig, not far from Plynlimmon, was struck down dead as a horse not long ago by a corpse-candle.”
“The light around them faded again to the corpse-candle gleam above Antryg's head; he turned back to the stygian arch that led once more into the mazes and the hellish walk back to the outer air.”
“For the charm to be really effective one had to walk around the spot at midnight carrying a corpse-candle, but I found myself laughing at the thought - which suggested Drotte's mummery about simples drawn at midnight from graves - and decided to rely on the verse alone, though I was somewhat astonished to discover that I was now old enough not to be ashamed of it.”
“Then he proceeded to examine the alcove -- the stairs, where the gleaming eye had wavered like a corpse-candle before Lizzie's affrighted vision.”
“Good Lord, Chase, you're not clinging to that corpse-candle straw, are you?" cried his lordship, beginning to pace the floor.”
“But the best of all was when Joe came home, the very next day, and when, the three of them sitting about the supper-table, Mira herself told the great story, from the first moment of Deacon Bassett's visit down to the triumphant close -- "And I see him coming back, shining like a corpse-candle, and I fell like dead on the floor!”
“At last the poor Giacomo came, half undressed and holding a lantern in his hand -- he seemed terrified, and trembled so much that the lantern jogged up and down like a corpse-candle on a tomb.”
“But when he saw in the moonlight, though far off, a tiny white figure of a woman drifting on some strange current in a small boat, on the prow of which rested a faint light (to me it looked like a corpse-candle!), he thought it might be some person in distress, and began to cautiously edge towards it.”
“She is a comet that has a strange fancy only to come forth like a corpse-candle, and dance over men's graves.”
“A ghost of a watchman, carrying a faint corpse-candle, haunted the distant upper gallery and flitted away.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘corpse-candle’.
Turned this up on etymonline.com (link). It's amazing.
1937, coined in the fantasy tales of J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973).
On a blank leaf I scrawled: 'In a hole...
Candles, candle-making; photometry, and a couple of oily fish used as light sources.
Includes any intangible conceivable independently of Hom. Sap.
A place for me to keep words I found (or found anew) while reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. (Culling my enormous "Learned (or Encountered) in Reading" list.)
List of items never for sale on craigslist.
Should you find one of these for sale, let us know. We'll scare you up a coupon for a free day at a gym or something.
The Earth's Anomalous Lightforms: 'The web is littered with folklore sites made by amateur researchers that contain lists of synonyms for the Will-o'-the-wisp. In most cases, citations and sources ...
Looking for tweets for corpse-candle.