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Nº 61. Thursday, May 18, 2017

zombie

1. n. W. Afr., Haiti, Brazil Snake god from West Africa which is believed to be able to resuscitate corpses.

2. n. In voodoo belief, the supernatural power that may enter into and reanimate a dead body.

3. n. Haiti In voodoo belief, a corpse said to be revived by witchcraft, walking dead, dead returned to life, dead body controlled by supernatural power.

Zombie emerging from a tomb. In this photo, a supposed Haitian zombie emerges from its tomb.

4. n. slang colloq. Space cadet, a dull, apathetic or drugged person.

5. n. Liquor A Caribbean mixed drink made of several kinds of rum or liqueur and fruit juice.

6. n. Comp. A computer that someone has secretly gained control of and uses to do things such as send spam

7. n. Comp. A dormant program that is placed through the "backdoor" on a computer.

Etymology

From West African n'zumbi, name of a god or ‘spirit of a dead person’.

After the discovery of America, the Europeans began a slave trade from Africa to the new continent. Most of the slaves that arrived to America came from Central West Africa. In that region, the locals had a cult of a god in the shape of a python snake, which was called n'zumbi. They thought that witches, or houngan, could reanimate the dead by imploring the god n'zumbi.

Slaves took this cult, called voodoo, to the Caribbean. Hence, in the voodoo cult practiced to date in Haiti, a zombie is a corpse without a soul, to whom life has been returned, in order to be employed in physical work. This belief went on to the pop culture of the United States and from there disseminated throughout the world owing to the entertainment industry.