What Does the word “Frankenstein” Mean?

In 1818, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, wife of the poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, published her first novel.

It dealt with the supernatural, though bearing the noncommittal title Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus.

It was a story telling about a young Swiss student, Victor Frankenstein, who found a way to create life artificially and who, eventually, constructed a body in human form and endowed it with life. But he had no way to imbue it with a soul.

Without that controlling element the monster was abhorrent to all whom he would make his mate, and when Frankenstein, his creator, refused to create a mate, he took revenge by murdering, first, Frankenstein’s friend, and then his brother, his bride, and finally Frankenstein himself.

The book became very popular, but, unfortunately, Mrs. Shelley had not thought to give the creature a name.

Hence, readers and others who wished to refer to it acquired the habit of using the title of the book instead.

The consequence is that Frankenstein has been often applied to any agency of whatever nature that brings about harm or ruin to its proponent or its creator.