Word of the Day – Golem

Word of the Day: March 30, 2023


noun GOH-lum

What It Means

  • Golem refers in Jewish folklore to an artificial humanoid being endowed with life. It can also refer to someone or something (such as a robot) resembling such a being.
  • // She came to regard her punctilious supervisor as a golem who never had an unprogrammed thought in his life.
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GOLEM In Context

“There is no game like Cuphead. The passion project … instantly set itself apart from the wide swath of 2D action games with its uncanny recreation of the 1930s cartoon aesthetic. … There’s no filler here, and every fight stands out as a memorable experience, from a bearded stone golem and his pack of evil gnomes to a train-riding cow who sees the business end of a pressure cooker only to keep on fighting.” — Russ Frushtick, Polygon.com, 30 June 2022

Did You Know?

The Hebrew ancestor of the word golem means “shapeless mass,” and the original mythical golems started as lumps of clay that were formed into figures and brought to life by means of a charm or a combination of letters forming a sacred word. In the Middle Ages, golems were thought to be the perfect servants; their only fault was that they were sometimes too literal or mechanical in fulfilling their masters’ orders. In the 16th century, the golem was thought of as a protector of the Jews in times of persecution. But following its entrance into English, golem acquired a less friendly second sense, referring to a man-made monster that inspired many of the back-from-the-dead creations of classic horror fiction. These days, the word golem is frequently used in the gaming world for a variety of foes and beasties made of materials ranging from ice to iron to even, in one game, candy.