Worms from Lind

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Thu May 18 13:26:14 EDT 2000

Welcome back, list!  Well done Deborah! (And let that teach you not to upgrade a
system that already works ;-) )

A few weeks ago, I was on holiday in Munich, where the existence of a road
called "Lindwurmstrasse" reminded me of this question.  Since the question
originated in Hexwood, it is on topic, and the list should have enough
literature students - and Germans - to give me some sort of answer...

At one point in Hexwood, Martellian mentions that Orm imported "worms from Lind"
against him, hence the necessity to provide dragon slayers like Fitela to defend
against them.

I thought little of it, except to remember that Orm's mother was also from Lind,
until I read in a book on heraldry that in German heraldry the usual word for a
dragon is der Lindwurm.

So my question is, what is the origin of "der Lindwurm"?

A German friend, while I was in Munich, said that he thought "Lindwurm" implied
that the dragon was green.  Lindgruen?  I've encountered plenty of green
dragons, but seldom lime green ones!  Besides, a colour-specific term is
unlikely to become the generic heraldic word.

So, on return, I asked our German tutor here at work.  She, after disputing the
rarity of lime-green dragons, agreed to look it up.  Her explanation yesterday,
as best I can remember it:  The word is Old High German, and is some sort of
monster from German legend.  It probably relates to Lint (which I can't find in
my dictionary, but she said means a loop).  In heraldry (Wappenkunde), she said,
it refers to a dragon _without wings_.

To add to the confusion, my mother claims she has seen a reference to a "worm of
Lind" somewhere other than Hexwood, but doesn't know where.

So, has anybody any more ideas?

Philip (still as dragon-obsessed as before).

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