Before we get into our new Demon of the Week category, Here there be Dragons, I’d better define what’s a dragon anyway.
Short answer: Anything I say it is.
Here’s why (Well, besides the fact they don’t exist). The word “dragon” originated in early 13th Century France, from the Latin “draconem” (nom. draco) “serpent, dragon,” by way of the Greek “drakon” (gen. drakontos) “serpent, seafish,” from drak-, strong aorist stem of derkesthai “to see clearly.” (Thank you, Online Etymology dictionary.)
So the word “dragon” is Greek/Latin/French. And English, by extension.
Because we have this word, we look at a serpent creature from Ancient China, and say “dragon.” But a Chinese “Dragon” is actually called “Lung.” Does Lung equal Dragon? Sure, a Lung is serpent-like, with legs, and sometimes they can fly. So far, that’s like a dragon. But the Lung is has the head of a camel, the eyes of a demon, antlers like a stag and the belly of a clam. They’re wise, benevolent deities, totally unlike the dumb, bent on destruction animal-brained 13th Century French “dragons.”
But we have this word. “Dragon.” And we use it for the German Wurm, the Chinese Lung… In the end, it’s okay. We can interpret the word the way we want to. Just bear in mind as you’re reading: Sometimes a dragon isn’t exactly a dragon.
On Saturday, I’ll introduce you to Tiamat, the first dragon. Also could be categorized under “Bad Girls”!