Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

A Word A Day — lamia

Good evening, Netizens...

April 23, 2013

Word of the Day

  • lamia
  • audio pronunciation
  • \LAY-mee-uh\


: a female demon

In this campy horror film, the men of a college campus are attacked and killed by a seductive lamia who slips into their dorm rooms at night.

"She finds herself plagued by visions of a dreadful lamia, a man-eating monster that's half woman, half serpent." — From a book review on Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2013


According to Greek mythology, Lamia was a queen of Libya who was beloved by Zeus. When Hera, Zeus's wife, robbed Lamia of her children from this union, Lamia killed every child she could get into her power. Stories were also told of a fiend named Lamia who, in the form of a beautiful woman, seduced young men in order to devour them and who also sucked the blood of children. Such nightmarish legends compelled poet John Keats, and many other writers before and after him, to write their own tales of Lamia, which still haunt and terrify those souls who dare read them.

From Merriam-Webster Online at



Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.