Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rasputin -- an evil eponym for the ages

(from www.wordsmith.org)

Rasputin (ra-SPYOO-tin) noun
A person who holds great but corrupting influence on another.
[After Rasputin, the nickname of Grigori Yefimovich Novykh (c.1871-1916), a Siberian peasant. Rasputin gained entrance into the court of Russian Czar Nikolai II and his wife, the Czarina Alexandra, by improving the condition of their hemophiliac son. Over the years, Rasputin's influence over the Czarina, and the court, increased tremendously. He was notorious for his debauchery and was later assassinated by Russian noblemen.]

"It was immediately apparent that she (Luisa P. Ejercito-Estrada) had not yet fallen under the spell of a Rasputin or a self-appointed guru with fantastic ideas about holes in the sky and the Philippines being the center of the universe."
-- AdLib: The New First Lady; BusinessWorld (Manila, Philippines); Dec 2, 1998.

"The other major force in Earnhardt's life dominates the second half of the movie. His third wife and widow, Teresa (Elizabeth Mitchell), is almost a benevolent Rasputin."
-- Brant James; Earnhardt's Fans Will Want More; St. Petersburg Times (Florida) Dec 11, 2004.

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