Word of the Day Archive
Friday September 19, 2003
, transitive verb:
To change into a different shape or to transform, often with bizarre or humorous effect.
A washing machine transmogrified into a guitar.
-- Adrian Searle, "Come, friendly pigeons", The Guardian, March 16, 2000
For the impulsive sin of turning to look back at the funereal pyre of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot's wife is transmogrified into a pillar of salt as she flees the inferno.
-- Elizabeth Wurtzel, Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women
Roast chicken is still roast chicken whether you label it haute cuisine, bourgeois cuisine or country cooking; even calling it "poulet roti" will not transmogrify this simple bird.
-- Jacques Pepin, "The Chicken Dinner, Both Humble and Noble", New York Times, January 4, 1989
Transmogrify is perhaps a humorous blend of transmigrate (for the form) and transmute (for the sense).