11 Trending Words of 2014
"man-eating giant," 1713, hogre (in a translation of a French version of the Arabian Nights), from French ogre, first used in Perrault's "Contes," 1697, and perhaps formed by him from Italian orco "demon, monster," from Latin Orcus "Hades," perhaps via an Italian dialect. In English, more literary than colloquial. The conjecture that it is from Byzantine Ogur "Hungarian" or some other version of that people's name (perhaps via confusion with the bloodthirsty Huns), lacks historical evidence. Related: Ogrish; ogrishness.
a hideous giant represented in fairy tales and folklore as feeding on human beings. The word gained popularity from its use in the late 17th century by Charles Perrault, the author of Contes de ma mere l'oye (Tales of Mother Goose). Since then, ogres have appeared in many works, including "Tom Thumb"; "Hansel and Gretel," where the witch is a type of ogre because she intends to eat the children; and "Little Red Riding Hood," where the wolf resembles an ogre. The Cyclops of myth and heroic literature who devours humans is a form of ogre.