Count Chocula and Tiny Dragons

Once upon a time, I wrote a post about how words that end in -cula mean little. For example: molecule means little mass, and granule means little grain.  Then! Suddenly! Today I thought of another.

Dracula! Dracula is Draco + cula. What is draco? Draco means dragon. Spoiler: Draco Malfoy = Dragon Bad Faith. Learn more Harry Potter names here.

The original vampiric association with Dracula was through Vlad III, known was Vlad Tepes, Tepes meaning Impaler. Curiously, Dracula was Vlad’s family name, the patronym. The internet doesn’t tell me much more than that, which is why this post has been in my drafts folder for seven months…

(EDIT: Commenter oetpay assisted with a link below, which explains that Vlad Dracul-ea means son of (-ea) Vlad Dracul, who was associated through dragons through the family heraldic crest. So it turns out that analyzing dracula and chocula as little dragons and little chocolate is not historically accurate. But we could say Count Chocula is son of Count Chocul.)

Moving on.

Not very related to Dracula is the evil adjective draconian, which is eponymously named for a harsh legislator named Draco who lived in Athens when Athens was very important.

Personally I’ve never eaten Count Chocula cereal, my sugary sins are committed with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms, though in college I had a phase of eating REESES FOR BREAKFAST?! in a clever ploy to trick myself into getting up in the morning. I was briefly swept up in the mania of yelling that phrase when I poured myself a bowl, but the efficacy quickly tapered off because beds are great.

So etymologically:  Count Chocula, which doesn’t even rhyme with Dracula, is supposed to evoke the name of Dracula through the word Count and the ending -cula. If you wanted to break it down, Chocula would mean ‘little chocolate.’ Maybe like a fun-size bar kids get at Halloween. 🙂

October 21, 2012

in candy,dragons,eponyms,food,insignificant linguistics mystery,latin,morphemes,Words & Origins

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

oetpay February 14, 2014 at 12:48 PM

If you never solved the mystery of the name:


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