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Is there a word for this? I'm looking for a nice colorful word with the above definition.

Examples include:

  • Frankenstein's monster.
  • Flesh atronach (from Elder Scrolls games).

The word is not:

  • Zombie (because a zombie is an animated dead body, not cobbled or sewn together from multiple bodies).

P.S. Think there should be some kind of "reverse dictionary" or "locate a word for this definition" tag?

migrated from writing.stackexchange.com Jul 1 '18 at 8:35

This question came from our site for the craft of professional writing, including fiction, non-fiction, technical, scholarly, and commercial writing.

  • While I can appreciate both the question and wanting answers to it, this isn't a question suited for writer's SE. As it is purely about words and definitions (or approximate definitions) it might be more at home on English SE. Writers is more about the craft of writing, style of writing, techniques, publishing and the like, not the usage of words in and of themselves (that's English SE's thing). – Fayth85 Jul 1 '18 at 2:47
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    I would say it is a Frankenstein's Monster in any case like this. – GEdgar Jul 1 '18 at 11:55
  • @GEdgar I'm looking more for a name from folklore, not a literary reference. – jcarpenter2 Jul 2 '18 at 0:01
  • You might want to look at "Golem". But "Frankenstein's Monster" (or just "Frankenstein") is most widely understood in your sense. – Hot Licks Jul 2 '18 at 0:13
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    "golem" is quite good, but "frankenstein" is too sterile in some ways, like you get this image of a scientist in some kind of laboratory, working on metal surfaces with body parts, and electricity, and beakers of formaldehyde; i'm looking for something a little more rustic, a little more fetid, that creates a picture of a necromancer working alone in a cave, dragging heavy, lumpen sacks from the cemetery; i want you to smell the shit and decay. Again, golem is quite good. – jcarpenter2 Jul 2 '18 at 4:37
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golem can be stretched to meet the OP's definition. Oxford Dictionaries defines golem as:

1(in Jewish legend) a clay figure brought to life by magic.

1.1 An automaton or robot

Oxford Dictionaries (same link as above) explains the origin:

Late 19th century: from Yiddish goylem, from Hebrew gōlem ‘shapeless mass’

Merriam Webster says:

1 : an artificial human being in Hebrew folklore endowed with life

2 : something or someone resembling a golem: such as a : automaton b : blockhead

Although the original meaning was a clay or mud figure brought to life by magic, because the meaning has been extended to a robot or automaton -- or a blockhead! -- I see no reason why it cannot also be extended to a being made from the body parts of dead people.

The body parts are inanimate, will turn into dirt eventually, and are much closer to clay or mud that are the parts of a robot. Jumbled in a heap, or if they have been dead long enough, they are shapeless. And if the creator of the golem puts the parts through a industrial size mix-master so he can mold the shape of his golem, rather than assemble it jig-saw puzzle fashion, golem is indisputably the word.

  • golem is quite good – jcarpenter2 Jul 2 '18 at 4:31
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I would suggest "construct" or "amalgamation" in reference to it being a gathering of disparate parts. Some other options include...

"patchwork" from the garment industry,

"pastiche" from painting

or for a more culinary reference, "goulash" or "salmagundi"!

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