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janbb's avatar

Can you define the word "ensorcelling" for me?

Asked by janbb (43970 points ) November 19th, 2012

It was in the New York Times today and I’ve never heard it before. I could look it up but thought it might be a fun question to bat around so no Googles please. (I want only the nice linguists to answer.)

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12 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

I would understand it to mean “bewitching”. I’ve never heard it used in English, but a similar word is used in that sense in French.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I cheated but I was close about the action of a sorcerer or sorceress.

bhec10's avatar

To ensorcell means means to enchant or to fascinate.

It comes from le french verb ensorceler.

bookish1's avatar

It’s a present progressive verb, so it could also be a noun. It’s what happens when a witch turns you into a newt. It does indeed come from French, as do many words which come across as being in a highfalutin’ register in English.

gailcalled's avatar

It has a lovely sound, doesn’t it, with both the s and the c being soft and sssssibilant?

(“Fascinating” has the same juxtaposition. It is almost a synonym.)

LuckyGuy's avatar

Without cheating and looking it up it sounded like “the process of a company that has outsourced a certain service it needs to provide but then rehires its own staff to handle the mistakes made by the outsourcing company.”
The Vice President of Ensorcelling still collects a significant bonus for helping the company solve the very problem he created by outsourcing the original service.

marinelife's avatar

Hurray for The Tines for using such an enchanting word.

janbb's avatar

@marinelife We must not forket the Tines!

Coloma's avatar

If you come over here you will be ensorcelled by geese and donkeys. ;-p

Symbeline's avatar

I knew what it was, or had a pretty good idea because of the French word. Otherwise though I had absolutely no idea this was an English word. Neat-O, bro.

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve seen it used in English prose and understood it to mean being enchanted or captivated by a sorcerer or sorceress. The context and the visible root made lookup unnecessary.

[Edit] Actually, I must amend that: the word I’ve seen used is “ensorcelled”—obviously another form of the same word.

wundayatta's avatar

Ya’ll need to read more fantasy. People get ensorcelled all the time in the lands of witches and wizards and other spell casting entities.

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