Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Wicked is as Wicked Does!

By the Pricking of my Thumbs...
I just love that word. It conjures up images of witches and wizards for me and I always think of Ray Bradbury‘s brilliant novel “Something wicked this way comes”. He took his inspiration from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, of course.
Nowadays it is used by young people as a replacement for the word ‘brilliant’ or something similar. It is also associated with the word ‘cool’ – as in something or someone being ‘hip’ or current. Language is definitely a living, breathing, changeable entity!
Anyway, I digress. What I mean to talk about is the original proper use of the word. When I looked it up in my dictionary it said it meant evil or sinful. But then there was a whole host of harsh words from ‘abominable’ to ‘abased’ to ‘shameful’ and ‘vicious’. In fact over fifty similar words! Many of which I have used time and again in my own supernatural thriller writing.
But nothing says evildoer quite as succinctly as ‘wicked’. It goes best with villainous characters and horrific deeds. A good word like this can be as helpful in horror/thriller writing as love is in romance writing. But it can equally be much overused and abused.
Do you have favourite words that you feel inclined to use more often than not?


  1. Great post, Pat. I've been thinking about this myself recently - not the word 'wicked' but the use of the English language as a whole. It's incredible how words change their meaning. I hear the word 'sick' can now also mean cool. I mean, how wicked is that? lol

    CJ xx

  2. Oh yes! Sadly, I do! It seems to vary book by book. I really like the word 'just'. But apart from filler words, I seem to have acquired a fondness for 'surreptitiously'. No idea why!

  3. Aside from words that keep popping up in my manuscript that I'm trying to remove and limit, I can't say that I have a 'word' I use often. Although there are some words that come to mind that I think are good words, such as sinister.

  4. Many thanks everyone, for taking the time to read and comment.