’20 A To Z Challenge – D

A To Z ChallengeLetter D


I am the God of Hellfire and in this episode of the A to Z Challenge, I bring you


This little-known English word is almost as uncommon as the imported surname. The D’eath family originally lived in the town of Ath in Belgium. There it would have been rendered D’Ath, or De Ath, meaning from Ath. It was also occasionally an occupational name for a gatherer or seller of kindling. In this case, the name is derived from the Middle English word dethe, which in turn is derived from the Old English word dyth, which means fuel or tinder.

Families with the name D’eath might know where it came from and what it meant. The word’s other reference is to the rather sketchy occupation, whose bundles of firewood sticks known as faggots, have deteriorated into a modern insult for homosexuals. To the superstitious, this, and its similarity to the word ‘death,’ make them uneasy when they encounter it.

Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey DSO is the fictional protagonist in a series of detective novels and short stories by Dorothy L. Sayers (and their continuation by Jill Paton Walsh ). A dilettante who solves mysteries for his own amusement, Wimsey is an archetype for the British gentleman detective.

In one book, the hero investigates a suspicious fatality at a company doing sensitive government work. He poses as the man’s replacement, under the name Peter D’eath, telling the manager that he hopes it will startle the guilty party into somehow revealing himself. It was an amusing but needless literary device, because the author goes on to show that it was a prank of a mail-room teen with a slingshot – an English ‘catapult’ – which caused the man to fall down a flight of stairs.

7 thoughts on “’20 A To Z Challenge – D

  1. jim- says:

    Nice work A’rchon. O’dspeed to y’ou and y’ours


  2. Rivergirl says:

    So what you’re saying is…. we all to go Ath when we die?


  3. Daniel Digby says:

    We mustn’t forget the time Lord Peter went incognito as the gangster Death Bredon. Sayers had to explain that he wasn’t really lying since that was his name. One of the upper-class habits appears to have been to always misuse the word “ain’t”. Always “he ain’t” or “you ain’t” and never “ain’t I”.

    One of Sayers’ talents was to give every story a moralistic Beatrix Potter or Carlo Collodi type of ending. One of my favorites was the guy who was responsible for the accidental death of a sinister character and who regretted what happened, Many years later, while he was helping flood victims, God got him and let him drown.

    What ever happened to books that always ended with a moral lesson? That’s the reason society has degenerated so badly. That and atheism.


    • Archon's Den says:

      A product of its time and place, it still was not as moralistic as G.K.Chesterton’s collection of ‘Father Brown’ stories.
      I served up your sarcasm with a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese and a nice Chianti, and fed a Catholic family of 11. I really had to search to find one that big any more, because even they are getting smart – and quietly rebellious 😳

      Liked by 1 person

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