Origins of Word Vampire

Before the word vampire caused mass hysteria in continental Europe, various evil spirits roamed the lands and caused havoc upon population that tried to defend itself by using various folklore tales and religion. However, in the 18th century well documented folklore tales from Balkans traveled through Germany and England, finally revealing to the entire world the existence of Vampires, mythical creatures of the night who lived in dead bodies, feasted on the lives of the unsuspecting people and prolonged their unholy lives by drinking fresh blood. As the literature authors embraced this theme of monster that hunts in the modern urban environments, their abilities and power grew with the each passing month, but the name remained the same. Name, that in the Balkans still causes dread and fear because of its initial millennia old powers.

Picture Of Female Upyr

The modern world Vampire is borrowed in 18th century from the Serbian word vampir (вампир) and by some sources from Hungarian word vampir. This word is not specific only for those two languages, and are present in all Slavic languages - German vampir, Bulgarian and Macedonian вампир, Polish wapierz, Belarussian Belarussianупыр (upyr), Russian and Old Russian упырь (upyr'), Czech and Slovak upir and Ukrainian упир.

Modern day historians even today cannot determine the exact origin of the world "upyr" which was the basis for creation of Serbian and Hungarian word "vampir". By some, upyr was derived from the Proto-Slavic words ǫpyrь and ǫpirь, French linguist Franz Miklosich theorized that Slavs came to that word by taking Turkish word "'uber" (which stands for witch), but other linguist are proposing that it was the opposite - Turks took the word upyr from Slavs and adopted it in their own way.

There is also a belief that word Serbo-Croatian word vampir has an origin in old Slavic language. Linguist Kazimierz Moszynski suggested that the word "u-pir" can be responsible for the creation of vampir, and also Slavic word "pij" (to drink) and Russian cogntenetopyr' (bat, to fly) could have played big role.

In the end, Austrian conquest of northern Balkans in early 18th century was first to introduce western world to vampires (reports from northern Serbia and western Romania told of tradition of exhuming bodies and killing vampires). By mid-18th century, word vampire arrived in England, and from there popularity of this mystical creature soared.