Word of the Day Archive
Tuesday October 30, 2001
diablerie \dee-OB-luh-ree; -AB-\ , noun:
1. Sorcery; black magic; witchcraft.
2. Representation of devils or demons in words or pictures.
3. Mischievous conduct; deviltry.
She invariably had every child in the establishment at her heels, open-mouthed with admiration and wonder,--not excepting Miss Eva, who appeared to be fascinated by her wild diablerie, as a dove is sometimes charmed by a glittering serpent.
-- Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin
His worst excesses of unfeeling diablerie belong to his early days.
-- Robertson Davies, "The Making of a 'Dublin Smartie", New York Times, October 30, 1988
Diablerie comes from the French, from diable, devil, from Latin diabolus, from Greek diabolos, "slanderer," from diaballein, "to slander," literally "to throw across," from dia-, "across" + ballein, "to throw."