Friday Fun: H.P. Lovecraft's 10 favourite words

Over on the blog, mysterious librarian blogger RuthX tells us the story of how she created a free ebook (downloaded!) with all the public domain stories that were published by noted horror author H.P. Lovecraft.

In the course of compiling the book, she was able to analyze the word usage patterns of the famously overwrought and verbose Lovecraft. And it's hysterically predictable what she came up with.

The post on the Tor blog is here: H.P. Lovecraft's 10 Favorite Words and a Free Lovecraft eBook.

A more complete analysis is here: Free Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft for Nook and Kindle and Wordcount for Lovecraft's Favorite Words.

And the countdown is:

  1. Loath (ing/some)
  2. Accursed
  3. Blasphem (y/ous)
  4. Abnormal
  5. Madness
  6. Singular (ly)
  7. Antiqu (e/arian)
  8. Nameless
  9. Faint (ed/ing)
  10. Well, you'll have to check out the original post for this one!

Update 2011.03.04: Added link to more word count information: Wordcount for Lovecraft's Favorite Words.

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A bit surprised not to see "eldritch" on the list. But maybe it sticks in the memory because it's so rare otherwise.

By Hercules Grytp… (not verified) on 04 Mar 2011 #permalink

Apparently it only appears 23 times, not enough to make the top ten. I added a link to the post with more word count information you're interested.

I love this stuff!!!! See my sed Bible Translation Project:

I've also done Doyle and subsets there but havn't blogged it.

Top words used in Exodus: Tha, and, of, shall, in and a bunch of other similar pronouns and connecting bits. Moses, Egypt, Pharaoh are near the top. What's more interesting, though, is if you sort the words by frequency then alphabetically, secret hidden biblical messages pop right out at you. Like "Beware binding birth blast" and "Cinnamon circumcision" There must be similar hidden messages in Lovecraft!

I'd say at least half those words effectively summarize Lovecraft's themes. I hadn't previously looked at this type of analysis as more than a curiosity, but there may be some serious literary insights here.

I am reading or should I say listening to a great audio book for At the Mountains of madness. I downloaded it from I am not a reader at all. I like the guys voice, a professional actor. He sounds like what Lovecraft wold sound like. Kind of weird creepy, and old fashioned.