Definitions

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  • noun A siren; a temptress.

Etymologies

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From the Lorelei rock on the Rhine, which was haunted by one of these creatures according to German legend.

Examples

Comments

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  • In German legend, a beautiful woman with long blonde hair who sat on the Lorelei rock and with her fine singing distracted boatmen, so that they drowned when their ships foundered on the rock. See also siren.

    River, river have mercy, take me down to the sea

    For if I perish on these rocks, my love no more I'll see

    I've thought of you in far-off places, puzzled over lipstick traces

    So help me God, I will not cry--and then I think of Lorelei

    --"Lorelei," the Pogues, c. 1989 Phillip Chevron

    February 7, 2007

  • It's important to say that Heinrich Heine wrote the famous poem, Die Lorelei, which, if perhaps not the actual origin of the legend (I don't know enough to say) is so famous that it has in effect become the legend. I think the Nazis tried to create a myth that it was an anonymous folk poem, in an attempt to expunge Heine's name.

    April 7, 2009