Word Origin & History
1734, from Fr. vampire or Ger. Vampir (1732, in an account of Hungarian vampires), from Hung. vampir, from O.C.S. opiri (cf. Serb. vampir, Bulg. vapir, Ukrainian uper), said by Slavic linguist Franc Mikloič to be ult. from Kazan Tatar ubyr "witch." An Eastern European creature popularized in Eng.
by late 19c. gothic novels, however there are scattered Eng. accounts of night-walking, blood-gorged, plague-spreading undead corpses from as far back as 1196. Applied 1774 by Fr. biologist Buffon to a species of South American blood-sucking bat.