Several names of prehistoric landscape features such as earthworks, hill forts, and flint mines, include the element 'Grim-'. The name Grimsditch occurs in eleven counties (in some, more than once); Grimsbury twice; Grime's Graves, Grimspound, and Grim's Hill once each. Presumably this Grim was a supernatural entity - perhaps Woden, since his Scandinavian equivalent, Odin, had 'Grimr' as a secondary name, and since the massive earthwork Wansdyke (Wiltshire) was undoubtedly named for him. However, there is also an Anglo-Saxon noun grima, meaning 'goblin' or 'spectre', so the situation is not clear-cut. Jennifer Westwood suggests that 'it is a question of scale', awe-inspiring features being ascribed to the god, small ones to the goblin (Westwood, 1985: 69-72).
   The *chapbook Life of Robin Goodfellow (1628) has among its characters a 'Fairy Grim' who boasts that he frightens many people by crying like a screech-owl at sick men's windows, that some call him the *Black Dog of Newgate, and that when young people are making merry he comes in 'in some feareful shape' to scare them away and steal their food. The Yorkshire 'church grim' lurked inside the building, but would 'maraud abroad' in stormy weather; it might toll the death-knell at midnight, and peer from a window during funerals, showing by its expression whether the dead person was saved or damned (Wright, 1913: 194). It also sometimes showed itself as a death warning, in the form of a black dog.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.


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  • grim — grim·ful; grim·i·ly; grim·i·ness; grim·ly; grim·mia; grim·mi·a·ce·ae; grim·mi·a·les; grim·mish; grim·ness; grim; grim·thorpe; pil·grim·er; pil·grim·ess; pil·grim·ize; me·grim; pil·grim; pil·grim·age; grim·mi·a·ceous; …   English syllables

  • Grim — may refer to:* Grim trigger, a strategy in Game Theory * Grim (Billy Mandy), a fictional character from the television series The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy * Grim, a Montenegrin rock group * Emanuel Grim, Polish priest and writer * Erik… …   Wikipedia

  • grim — [ grım ] adjective * ▸ 1 causing worry ▸ 2 serious and unfriendly ▸ 3 not attractive ▸ 4 not enjoyable ▸ 5 sick ▸ + PHRASES 1. ) grim news, situations, or events are unpleasant and make you feel upset and worried: The future looks pretty grim.… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • grim — [grım] adj [: Old English; Origin: grimm] 1.) making you feel worried or unhappy = ↑harsh ▪ the grim reality of rebuilding the shattered town ▪ When he lost his job, his future looked grim. ▪ Millions of Britons face the grim prospect (=something …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • grim´ly — grim «grihm», adjective, grim|mer, grim|mest. 1. without mercy; stern, harsh, or fierce: »grim, stormy weather. SYNONYM(S): cruel, merciless …   Useful english dictionary

  • Grim — (gr[i^]m), a. [Compar. {Grimmer} ( m[ e]r); superl. {Grimmest} ( m[e^]st).] [AS. grim; akin to G. grimm, equiv. to G. & D. grimmig, Dan. grim, grum, Sw. grym, Icel. grimmr, G. gram grief, as adj., hostile; cf. Gr. ?, a crushing sound, ? to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Grim — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Bobby Grim (1924–1995), US amerikanischer Rennfahrer Fred Grim (* 1965), niederländischer Fußballtorhüter Herman Niklas Grim (auch: Hermann Nicolaus Grimm, Hermannus Nicolaus Grimmius; 1641–1711),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • grim — 1 Grim, implacable, relentless, unrelenting, merciless grievanceare comparable when they mean so inexorable or obdurate as to repel or bar any effort to move one from one s purpose or course. Grim (see also GHASTLY) usually implies tenacity of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • grim — [grim] adj. grimmer, grimmest [ME < OE grimm, akin to Ger < IE base * ghrem , to make a loud sound, roar angrily > GRUMBLE, Russ grom, thunder] 1. fierce; cruel; savage 2. hard and unyielding; relentless; stern; resolute [grim courage] 3 …   English World dictionary

  • grim´i|ly — grim|y «GRY mee», adjective, grim|i|er, grim|i|est. covered with grime; very dirty: »grimy hands. SYNONYM(S): begrimed, black. –grim´i|ly, adverb …   Useful english dictionary

  • grim|y — «GRY mee», adjective, grim|i|er, grim|i|est. covered with grime; very dirty: »grimy hands. SYNONYM(S): begrimed, black. –grim´i|ly, adverb …   Useful english dictionary