Thomas Arthur Schaefer

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Harder Than A Coffin Nail

Another day of cleaning the studio... busy busy busy.

No ticker-treaters to report. Little bastdards... and I bought candy too! Grrrr... I hate this towns tricker-treaters. What's the deal, are you too good for my candy or something you little punks!!! I'm getting outta this no candy lovin' crap-town and headed to Waverly tommorrow. Maybe there my candy will be desired... boo ha ha.

Monday, October 30, 2006

After Us The Savage God

"I wish to grasp things with the mind the way the penis is graped by the vagina"Duchamp

So I spent the entire day cleaning and clearing out my studio. Removing all sorts of crap that I don't need and or don't want to concern myself with anymore. Not a stitch of it went to the trash, instead it's all gone to the fire that I'm sitting outside with right now. Old prepatory drawings, billboard paper, unused frame structures, general collected paper artifacts, color photocopies, a set of magenta postcards I'll never send a certain girl in another state, and a blue suede jacket, from an ex-girl, that I had attempted to transform into something beautiful to wear for the 'Sweet Tooth' opening that went horribly wrong. It's kind of exciting watching all these items go up in flames v. just dumping them in the trash. I guess I've used fire as a means of finishing or finishing-off many of my works thoughout my short career (I'm still not 30).

I remember the first thing I ever put fire to was the canvas of a rival student (well not really a rival mind you) a student in high school who's attitude I very much disapproved of. I guess I didn't appreciate his outlook on the arts and knew it, even at the young age of 16. I took a completed oil painting of his that he had discard some weeks before by leaving it in the back room of Kidwells classroom. Martha Kidwell, our high school art teacher. I believe it was a Dali'esque type work that he never totally completed but touted on-and-on about like it was the most important piece ever. What I do remember most is that the theory and research behind the work was total bull-shit and had nothing to do with the surrealist movement. Now mind you , we were in high school, but I took this subject matter quite seriously at the time and 'so apparently' did he. I smuggled the work home and left it in my studio for a few weeks. Even at 16, I had my own studio that my father had built for me in a large section of the basement quarters. One evening, I believe it was a wednesday night, Spencer Barnett came over to the house to work on a banner for the football team with me and I burned the canvas in the back yard at some point. I used some kind of mix of gasoline and oil, whatever my father had available, lighting the work, and then extinguising it at the last minute so that the frame and a few outlining portions of canvas were left. I then spent the next several days creating a new painting from the burned structure. I strung a small monochrome oil painting, done on a CD case-plate with fishing lure, off-centered on the work and a burned photograph. A tree limb with infant leaves was afixed to the side of the work. I later that year exhibited the work at the Hunter Museum of Arts - ArtScene Exhibition. The renewed canvases previous owner attended, saw a small portion of his original painting that I had intentionaly left and became quit upset with me. It was a liberating experience for me and the work was probably the first serious construct or collage work I had ever made in my young career. I believe the work was later given to Abby Lamb at some point. Wonder if she still has it.

In college I burned several other works. One in particular was an Oswald series piece, 'His Angel Death', today owned by Matt Lane Harris. I remember finishing the work, having a few drinks with Dave & Dave, my roommates, and being so dissatisfied with it's all too clean/bright non-aged appeal that I took it outside onto the street in front of our house, began to pour gasoline on the left corner of the work, which I was using at the time instead of acetone form xerox transfer drawings and set it ablaze. At a certain point I lifted the work upright while still on fire so that the smoke would wash over the surface of the piece staining it with soot. I again extinguished the work before it was totally destroyed. Then took it the next morning to my Drawing II class, whose main focus was on materials and techniques. The teacher was so impressed with the chance I had taken in my action, that she assigned everyone on their next project to burn their work in some fashion if possible. She also wondered why I wasn't a painting major as well... like most of my friends thru my career in college.

So fire has always been important... it's a chaotic element that can only be controlled to certain degrees and sometimes not at all. It can never be tamed... only utilized.

Another set of works that dealt with fire in this chaotic method are 2 drawing I did for the 'Poor Little Rich Boy' show at Spin & Gin IV. I was rushed for time to finish and set a pair of drawings so I was drying them in the microwave. The drawings were based on the idea of identicals or mass produced prints. I wanted to develope a way of producing the same drawing multiple times but without the traditional means of a printing press or photocopier. I myself want to be that means... the artist as duplicator, as much. So any mark made to one had to be made to the other. I've followed this practice from this set of 2 works to recently as many as 50 total pieces... all the same, but as a print or photocopy individual. So, one of the 'PLRB' drawings caught fire in the microwave leaveing a small burned mark and I had to find a way to repeat the effect in the other drawing. It took several hours I remember. I couldn't just take a cigarette lighter to it. I had to force a certain area to ignite in the microwave as had happened before. I believed the reason for the initial fire was an abundace of metallic paint, but was not sure because I hadn't microwaved the other work for fear of a non-result. So I tested the idea using slightly more metalic paint on the original burnt drawing and it went up immediatly. I then proceed with the same process on drawing #2, adding more of the metallic paint and like clock-work it ignited in the same fashion. A process, a complicated one, duplicated in each work. In the end, because of the fire incedent, the pieces took on a greater aura than they had before and revealed a wholly new character all their own. Fire had done the trick yet again.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Define The Structure Of Currency And Commerce Over Breakfast

Got up early and went over to the gallery to pick up my work from the show the other night. Did some damage control around the house and studio today. Then decided I'd rather read my book some more, Duchamp, so thats all I did all day. Well I hung up a few of the works left from the show in the house too. Totally dropped Candied Crikets #3 face-down right smack flat on the floor, only to hear myself scream OHH FUCK! But to my amazement, only a few corns fell off and I lost 2 heads and 1 leg. I really couldn't believe my luck. I figured when I pick it up I'd have a smashed mess... ha ha... "Then that would be the work." to quote Rauschenberg. But that's good construction for ya.

I love not having cable television again. It forces you to either - make art - clean - read a book. Good stuff them books. I ripped thru a few hundred pages today and am ready for a good sleep. The damn book is too big, like 500+ pages, but it's just getting good. Duchamp in NYC... ahhh the good stuff.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Once You Mend A Puncture On A Blow-Up Doll, You're Having A Serious Relationship With It

Worked a show with Steph for Dames Aflame today. Some SCION car gig outside of the Masqurade. Good weather and all... people with totally retarded cars, but made a little cash which is always good and had fun. Got home 10:30pm. Wasn't interested in driving around late this evening with all the amatures out there. It's halloween party night and there are something like 16+ roadblock checkpoints planned for the ATL area I heard. Fuck that noise. I got home, cracked a beer and started reading a book on Duchamp instead. Better company than a drunk tank or a body bag any ol'day of the week.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Finders & Keepers Of Simple Logic

4 New Works @ Doo Gallery's Tonight

- Dualis Trepidare
- Dualis Resolvere
- Asundered Transmogrification
- Candied Crickets

What a shitty shitty day... raining the whole thing thru. Not a great turnout at the show this evening... ohh well. Bad weather and halloween parties what can you do. Plus I didn't do any promotion myself really. But true to her character, Steph came out early and hung out for a bit in support even though we were like the only 2 there... ha. No one I knew came out. And while there were not many people I must admit I had a good time and met a few intersting folks that might work well in the comic book character show me and Matt Lane Harris are planning. Other than that... nada. Well I did purchase a piece from the show... something I never do, especially being as poor as I am right now. But it was only $100 and it made me smile, so I looked in my wallet, saw the hundred I had and plunkered it down.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My Greatest Pains And Prisons I Create Myself

Working on the Wendy paintings all this morning. Just finished my prepatory drawings for the figures in each work. I'm going to refine them to their final state. I need to let the 1 SPOT dry over night. But I can still prepare transfers and cut the stencil and paint them onto the boxes tomorrow. Each character about 4" tall.

I'm now moving onto the Casper work.

The entire Casper work evolved as the day progessed. I've changed the original orientation of the piece from vertical to full horizontal. I'm also building out my own Casper in 3-D to come out of the center of the compostion. I still have to build out the shoulder portion and add some hands. I'll finish the character off in a clean 1 SPOT white gloss enamel.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I'm Gonna Give You Straight The About

The belly of the 2 beasts - her entrails and vitals. Normally I'd finish off the interiors in black to finsih off the works. But seeing as how the lighting elements have a chance to heat up a bit too much in their enclosed casing i didn't want to add to the problem. So the basic structures and electrical rigging are done on both works. The next step is to start adding the Wendy comic book pages and begin the process of painting them out with a clean red coat of 1 SHOT lettering enamel.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Too Big - Too Heavy - Too Small

Sat outside all day/night long yesterday, rereading Hirst's 'On The Way To Work'. Burned a large amount scrape wood, a few old paintings that i really was tired of looking at. But I pretty much just wrapped myself up in some warm cloths a raced the the 300 page book of interviews, wrapping up with it around 1AM. Plus I ran out of wood... ohh well.

Today I'm workig on a few interesting pieces for the upcoming show. Details on it later today. The house smells wonderful today. I nice smoked/wood smell.

So here's a quick glimpse at the other piece, well actually 2 twin pieces I'm also doing for Doo gallery. They are gonna be really awesome. It's another lighted work. It's 2 pieces @ 9" x 21" x 7" (22.9cm x 53.3cm x 17.8cm). They both have an eerie red glow coming from all sides, as the works rest about 1" off of the walls surface. They will also eminate a strange fog from the guts as well, I'll use dry ice for that. No clunky expensive fog machines. The entire work is a Wendy the Witch piece. Gloss red Wendy's all round and a unique Wendy painted in the center of each. Similar to the metal Jughead panel I did for Barker recently. They are gonna look u'ber cool all lit up in the gallery.
I'm also working on a simple Casper the Friendly Ghost work as well. It measures 5.5" x 35" x 1.5" (14cm x 89cm x 3.8cm). It's a reassembled shredder work with Casper comic strip framed edges. it's not a priority, but shouldn't take to long to produce.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Suppplied With Medically Useful Gases

So I finished these 3 pieces for the up coming Doo Gallery show this evening. And as I sat eating sushi with Steph the previous evening, I had a sinking feeling the entire time, just like with the Texas works, that something was lost or missing from them... something was incredebly wrong.

Unusual to my character tonight... and I'm speeking of the mornig of this day, Ocotber 22nd, but it is night and it is dark. Unusual to myself, even though I wore a hand made Damien Hirst pin on my shirt while we ate dead fish, I had an stedely growing unease about the 3 works as I made my way home.

So I came home and opened up on off my many Hirst gallery cataloges. The one that struck me first 'Theories, Models, Methods, Approaches, Assumptions, Results, and Findings'. What stuck to me wasn't anything I found in the book, but the title. Just as most of Hirsts works the title envoked me to reflect on myself and my own work and just that of... Theories, Models, Methods, Approaches, Assumptions, Results, and Findings'. I came to realize, after having taken a few moments away from everything, that the works themselves (my works) were not ill-concieved, but ill gotten in the sense that I had broken them up into 3 individual portions. I then took the work and laid them out on the floor in order of how they were created and was pleased as punch to see that the works actually functioned more as a single unit, than they did as broken elements. It was at that moment that I decided they were in fact one work, devised of three panels and could not effectivly be broken apart or added on to, in order to make their appearance more reticent for the viewer. They had to remain simple and in that the power of them would be the lack of the artists reveal.

I then figured that if I were to do some smaller afforadble works for the show, that they would have to be the jars I used for the Kettle/Dallas show. I envisioned small beautiful artifacts in pristine black cased coffers. Perfect and precious in every way. There would be no chance any person could complain of their contents or presentation souly based on the beauty of the artifacts within, as small as it was. Nothing could be more perfect than the small jar caontinaing some beautiful artifact. So thus, I've decided to continue beyond the three pieces which have now become one, and am moving to possibly create a set of 10 individual jars which will house the most exquisit of artifacts. But we'll see what time allows me.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

It Lives In The Smallest Parts of Us

And what does saturday bring us... more dead crickets of course. Sitting around nwatch horror films as has been the norm all month long. Come tomthink of it, I've been watching almost exclusivly horror films for the past 4 months. Ohh well. This morning it's Carpenters 'Prince of Darkness'. I like my horror mixed with a little physics. Of course I wish this film had been made a little better and the script had more math and theory to it, but I still love this film.

Crickets all around... crickets all around. Each of these pieces has a total of 100 crickets on them. At first glace you wouldn't think there are that many, but you can totally count them there. Strange enough. It just doesn't appear that there are that many for some reason. There are 530 candy corns on the works, which because of there mass may acount for the reason the crickets volume does not seem so great. I've already wrapped up 2 of the works and will have the third finished this evening.

Sushi later this evening... maybe even some cricket sushi. Ya never know.

Friday, October 20, 2006



Barker talks to some cute girls admiring my pieces.

Barker talking to me on the phone.

Barkers 3 works.

Erase The Fear & Balance A Tear

Thomas Arthur Schaefer @

If your ass is in Dallas... you should be there!


JENNY: I just bought a great piece from bones
JENNY: Yup. Your work has been gAWKED at and i have you on.
BARKER: I forgot to tell u i lost ur sticks. Oops. I sorry. Its what livin out ur car will do.
BARKER: This very cute girl says ur brilliant & creepy. What a compliment!
BARKER: I just met this artist from atl.
BARKER: ? Doug. Redblood gallery yo yo gallery
JENNY: I did your deed... They could have turned out better... But it is crowded

Cricket shoping today. Picked up 300 of them...3 full bags. Of course the questions... what do you need so many for. Afterward I stopped at some shitty 'Halloween Superstore'... bullshit, they had nothing of interest. Of course some cock-sucker though it would be interesting to side swipe the front of my car while I was in the store. Thanks you asshole sitting in his white van. Motherfucker!! Dents, scratches, etc.

My version of the television show 'Six Feet Under'. After you euthanize these crickets, you have to one by one move their limbs back into position. If you don't do this the painting ends up looking like a thing with crickets glued to it. But when you get the legs right suddenly the work takes on a life like appearance and the damn little suckers look like they are crawling all over each other. Just like they do in real life. And that's one of the keys to the work, not only should they be positioned correctly but they need to crawl over each other and be in mass. If you can do that, then you can make a really creepy painting.

OCTOBER 20, 2006
STATTS - FNF (media mail)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I Opened The Door To What We Ignore

Working on some interesting Blue Jugheads this evening... well an interesting format at least. We'll see how they turn out. Have a lot of worked planned out for the weekend... lots of candy corn and crickets, plus a few other suprises in store for the end of this month. Of course I still need to figure out where the pet store are here in the ATl so I can go buy I think about 300+ large crickets. I may need to investigate a couple of stores, beacuse like last time I might just buy they out totally from one and need to hit another. Also looking for interesting halloween masks. Not sure if I want to do straight up large corn/cricket works or if I want to give them 1 additional element. Developing...

It's cold tonight...

OCTOBER 19, 2006
SCHAEFER - Shtick (poloroid postcard)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

About What I Want To Hear

Felt shitty last night and had trouble sleeping, even though I needed it. Bad headaches are the worst. Ohh well... couldn't sleep. Finished up yet another Phillip K. Dick novel last night and will probably dig into another one here in the next day or so. Woke up early and started work on a freelance gig I want out the door by end of week.
Hung out at the girls house tonight to catch the final ep. of PR3... good finale... good outcome. Gonna miss that show... till it's back for PR4.
Started pulling together some new materials for some Blue Jughead paintings when I got home and am calling it a night. Nothing that interesting to report really. Just another day in the life that is me. I'll get a good deal of work done tomorrow I'm sure.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Before I Knew I Was Awake

Hit up the local drug store this afternoon to pick a 2 few extra bags of Brachs candy corn. I ran out the night before while working on 3 halloween based pieces for the Doo Gallery show coming up in a little more than a week. The works are really just sister pieces to the 2 larger more complex candy corn works 'The Quipster' & 'The Savant' which go on display this coming saturday at Kettle Gallery in Dallas, Texas.

So I'm in the local CVS picking up my candy corn and I ended up buying an entire case of halloween orange pumpkin marshmallow peeps. I at first only grabbed 10 from the box on the shelf but upon checking out I convinced myself that I should just buy the entire case and get the box too. So as the lady rung up all my insane pills of bagged candy I grabbed the box and brought it to the counter. It's amazing how I have no issues blowing $50 on candy that I'll never eat, but won't spend a nickel on myself to eat. I'm poor as shit right now what can I say. it's a choice I've been living with for a while now. Of course the logic behind the $50 purchase of candy is the idea that once it's been retroconsumed into new works of art the return on investment should be 1,000 fold. Of course thats if people buy the shit... ha ha. It will.

The other interesting item I picked up at thnat CVS were these 2 bags of candy called 'Dr. Scab's Monster Lab' - foil covered chocolates in the shapes of eyeballs, ears, fingers, toes, and lips. Another impulse buy just like the $150 worth of foil cover bunnies I bought the day after easter. It's all about the foil, it's all so amazing looking. I imagine huge half foil covered panels and half chocolate melts. An homage to Dieter Roth of course. I'll get to them one day here soon. But those peeps were a good find. i thought they only made white ghosts during halloween - which I should probably purchase a cas of too.

And for the record, there are different types of candy corn. There is the traditional yellow/orange/white know as Candy Corn and then there is the brown/orange/white known as Indian Corn. I picked up 5 bags of the Indian Corn to make a few select smaller corn/cricket pieces for a few special people here on halloween.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Open Up This Door Will Ya

Lots of group shows coming up over the next few months. Lots of preparing to do.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Burning Inside The Fire Of Life

Some pics of my newest works that will soon be on display at

The Haunted Show
Kettle Art Gallery
Dallas, Texas
October 20th - November 4th

This mixed media exhibit aims to conjure up your worst nightmares and your darkest fantasies. It's not for small children, the faint of heart or "those who wish to maintain pure thoughts."

Details on the works

2 @ 4ft x 1.5ft x 4in (121.9cm x 45.7cm x 10cm)

2,000 pieces of Brach's candy corn
226 large cricket
54 arctic mice-pinkies
45 superworm
13 dried dandelion heads
8 rubber-stop glass bottles
2 blue / 2 red betta fish (Betta Splendens)
2 long-tail lizard (Takydomus Sexineatus)
2 bahaman anole (Anolis Carolinensis)
1 chicken spine
2 bundles of sticks w/ bone
2 rubber halloween masks
1 drop of artists blood in each bottle
1 issue of LOOK Magazine circa 1971 "Satan Is Rising"
1 satanic verse spoken before each work under a full moon

The Quipster

The Savant


(cricket detail from The Quipster)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Writing Of Words Is A Burden Meant Only For Alcoholics And Children

So is this title a supposition, slant or suspicion?


OCTOBER 14, 2006
NEWMAN - Found! (stuffed envelope)

Friday, October 13, 2006


danger |ˈdānjər| noun the possibility of suffering harm or injury : his life was in danger. • a person or thing that is likely to cause harm or injury : infertile soils where drought is a danger. • the possibility of something unwelcome or unpleasant : there was no danger of the champagne running out. • Brit. the status of a railroad signal indicating that the line is not clear and that a train should not proceed. PHRASES in danger of likely to incur or to suffer from : the animal is in danger of extinction. out of danger (of a person who has suffered a serious injury or illness) not expected to die. ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French dangier, based on Latin dominus ‘lord.’ The original sense was [jurisdiction or power,] specifically [power to harm,] hence the current meaning [liability to be harmed.]

Thursday, October 12, 2006


risk |risk| noun a situation involving exposure to danger : flouting the law was too much of a risk | all outdoor activities carry an element of risk. • [in sing. ] the possibility that something unpleasant or unwelcome will happen : reduce the risk of heart disease | [as adj. ] a high consumption of caffeine was suggested as a risk factor for loss of bone mass. • [usu. in sing. ] [with adj. ] a person or thing regarded as likely to turn out well or badly, as specified, in a particular context or respect : Western banks regarded Romania as a good risk. • [with adj. ] a person or thing regarded as a threat to something in need of protection : she's a security risk. • [with adj. ] a thing regarded as likely to result in a specified danger : gloss paint can burn strongly and pose a fire risk. • (usu. risks) a possibility of harm or damage against which something is insured. • the possibility of financial loss : [as adj. ] project finance is essentially an exercise in risk management. verb [ trans. ] expose (someone or something valued) to danger, harm, or loss : he risked his life to save his dog. • act or fail to act in such a way as to bring about the possibility of (an unpleasant or unwelcome event) : unless you're dealing with pure alcohol you're risking contamination from benzene. • incur the chance of unfortunate consequences by engaging in (an action) : he was far too intelligent to risk attempting to deceive her. PHRASES at risk exposed to harm or danger : 23 million people in Africa are at risk from starvation. at one's ( own) risk used to indicate that if harm befalls a person or their possessions through their actions, it is their own responsibility : they undertook the adventure at their own risk. at the risk of doing something although there is the possibility of something unpleasant resulting : at the risk of boring people to tears, I repeat the most important rule in painting. at risk to oneself (or something) with the possibility of endangering oneself or something : he visited prisons at considerable risk to his health. risk one's neck put one's life in danger. run the risk (or run risks) expose oneself to the possibility of something unpleasant occurring : she preferred not to run the risk of encountering his sister. take a risk (or take risks) proceed in the knowledge that there is a chance of something unpleasant occurring. ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from French risque (noun), risquer (verb), from Italian risco ‘danger’ and rischiare ‘run into danger.’

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


chance | ch ans| noun 1 a possibility of something happening : a chance of victory | there is little chance of his finding a job. • ( chances) the probability of something happening : he played down his chances of becoming chairman. • [in sing. ] an opportunity to do or achieve something : I gave her a chance to answer. • a ticket in a raffle or lottery. • Baseball an opportunity to make a defensive play, which if missed counts as an error : 541 straight chances without an error. 2 the occurrence and development of events in the absence of any obvious design : he met his brother by chance | what a lucky chance that you are here. • the unplanned and unpredictable course of events regarded as a power : chance was offering me success. adjective fortuitous; accidental : a chance meeting. verb 1 [ intrans. ] do something by accident or without design : if they chanced to meet. See note at happen . • ( chance upon/on) find or see by accident : he chanced upon an interesting advertisement. 2 [ trans. ] informal do (something) despite its being dangerous or of uncertain outcome : she waited a few seconds and chanced another look. PHRASES by any chance possibly (used in tentative inquiries or suggestions) : were you looking for me by any chance? no chance informal there is no possibility of that : I asked if we could leave early and she said, “No chance.” on the ( off) chance just in case : Joan phoned at noon on the off chance that he’d be home. stand a chance [usu. with negative ] have a prospect of success or survival : his rivals don't stand a chance. take a chance (or chances) behave in a way that leaves one vulnerable to danger or failure. • ( take a chance on) put one's trust in (something or someone) knowing that it may not be safe or certain. take one's chances do something risky with the hope of success. ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French cheance, from cheoir ‘fall, befall,’ based on Latin cadere.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


hang-up noun informal an emotional problem or inhibition : people with hang-ups about their age.

Monday, October 09, 2006


neurosis |n(y)oŏˈrōsis| noun ( pl. -ses |-ˌsēz|) Medicine a relatively mild mental illness that is not caused by organic disease, involving symptoms of stress (depression, anxiety, obsessive behavior, hypochondria) but not a radical loss of touch with reality. Compare with psychosis . • (in nontechnical use) excessive and irrational anxiety or obsession : apprehension over mounting debt has created a collective neurosis in the business world. ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: modern Latin, from neuro- [of nerves] + -osis .

Sunday, October 08, 2006


terror |ˈterər| noun 1 extreme fear : people fled in terror | [in sing. ] a terror of darkness. • the use of such fear to intimidate people, esp. for political reasons : weapons of terror. • [in sing. ] a person or thing that causes extreme fear : his unyielding scowl became the terror of the Chicago mob. • ( the Terror) the period of the French Revolution between mid 1793 and July 1794 when the ruling Jacobin faction, dominated by Robespierre, ruthlessly executed anyone considered a threat to their regime. Also called reign of terror . 2 (also holy terror) informal a person, esp. a child, who causes trouble or annoyance : placid and obedient in their parents' presence, but holy terrors when left alone. PHRASES have (or hold) no terrors for someone not frighten or worry someone. ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French terrour, from Latin terror, from terrere ‘frighten.’

Saturday, October 07, 2006


horror |ˈhôrər; ˈhär-| noun 1 an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust : children screamed in horror. • a thing causing such a feeling : photographs showed the horror of the tragedy | the horrors of civil war. • a literary or film genre concerned with arousing such feelings : [as adj. ] a horror movie. • intense dismay : to her horror she found that a thief had stolen the machine. • [as exclam. ] ( horrors) chiefly humorous used to express dismay : horrors, two buttons were missing! • [in sing. ] intense dislike : many have a horror of consulting a dictionary. • ( the horrors) an attack of extreme nervousness or anxiety : the mere thought of it gives me the horrors. 2 informal a bad or mischievous person, esp. a child : that little horror Zach was around. ORIGIN Middle English : via Old French from Latin horror, from horrere ‘tremble, shudder’ (see horrid ).

Friday, October 06, 2006


nightmare |ˈnītˌme(ə)r| noun a frightening or unpleasant dream : I had nightmares after watching the horror movie. • a terrifying or very unpleasant experience or prospect : the nightmare of racial hatred | an astronaut's worst nightmare is getting detached during an extravehicle activity. • a person, thing, or situation that is very difficult to deal with : buying wine can be a nightmare if you don't know enough about it. DERIVATIVES nightmarish adjective nightmarishly adverb ORIGIN Middle English (denoting a female evil spirit thought to lie upon and suffocate sleepers): from night + Old English mære [incubus.]

Thursday, October 05, 2006


bugbear |ˈbəgˌbe(ə)r| noun a cause of obsessive fear, irritation, or loathing. • archaic an imaginary being invoked to frighten children, typically a sort of hobgoblin supposed to devour them. ORIGIN late 16th cent.: probably from obsolete bug [bogey] (of unknown origin) + bear 2.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


antipathy |anˈtipəθē| noun ( pl. -thies) a deep-seated feeling of dislike; aversion : his fundamental antipathy to capitalism | a thinly disguised mutual antipathy. ORIGIN late 16th cent.(in the sense [opposition of feeling, nature, or disposition] ): from French antipathie or Latin antipathia, from Greek antipatheia, from antipathēs ‘opposed in feeling,’ from anti ‘against’ + pathos ‘feeling.’

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


aversion |əˈvər zh ən| noun a strong dislike or disinclination : he had a deep-seated aversion to most forms of exercise. • someone or something that arouses such feelings. DERIVATIVES aversive |-siv; -ziv| adjective ORIGIN late 16th cent.(originally denoting the action of turning away or averting one's eyes): from Latin aversio(n-), from avertere ‘turn away from’ (see avert ).

Monday, October 02, 2006


phobia |ˈfōbēə| noun an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something : he had a phobia about being under water | a phobia of germs | a snake phobia. DERIVATIVES phobic |ˈfōbik| adjective & noun ORIGIN late 18th cent.: independent usage of -phobia .

Sunday, October 01, 2006


butterfly |ˈbətərˌflī| noun ( pl. -flies) an insect with two pairs of large wings that are covered with tiny scales, usually brightly colored, and typically held erect when at rest. Butterflies fly by day, have clubbed or dilated antennae, and usually feed on nectar. • Superfamilies Papilionoidea and Hesperioidea, order Lepidoptera: several families. Formerly placed in a grouping known as the Rhopalocera. Compare with moth. • a showy or frivolous person : a social butterfly. • ( butterflies) informal a fluttering and nauseated sensation felt in the stomach when one is nervous. • (in full butterfly stroke) [in sing. ] a stroke in swimming in which both arms are raised out of the water and lifted forward together. • [as adj. ] having a two-lobed shape resembling the spread wings of a butterfly : a butterfly clip. verb ( -flies, -flied) [ trans. ] split (a piece of meat) almost in two and spread it out flat : [as adj. ] ( butterflied) butterflied shrimp. ORIGIN Old English , from butter + fly 2 ; perhaps from the cream or yellow color of common species, or from an old belief that the insects stole butter.