shapechanger n.

one who can shapechange

  • 1906 W. B. Yeats Shadowy Waters in Poems, 1899–1905 63

    Shadows, illusions, That the shape-changers…have cast into his mind.

  • 1944 M. W. Wellman Strangers on Heights in Startling Stories Summer x. 42/2 page image Manly Wade Wellman bibliography

    And things moved, shapes that were clear as crystal in the fogginess. They were changing shapes. Sometimes they enlongated [sic] and wriggled, like fish or snakes. Sometimes they sent out streamers or arms, to perform some sort of studied action. [...] Gardestang felt he could not understand now. He wondered again, what the shape-changers did as their life behavior.

  • 1961 F. Leiber Big Time (1969) 33–4 Fritz Leiber

    A strange kind of folk, bright but always in the background, with built-in nostalgia and cynicism, as adaptable as Centaurian shapechangers but with memories as long as a Lunan’s six arms, a kind of Change People, you might say, the cream of the damned.

  • 1964 H. R. E. Davidson Gods & Myths N. Europe (1973) 67

    The berserks in the stories are frequently said to be shape-changers,and sometimes to take on animal form.

  • 1964 H. R. E. Davidson Gods & Myths N. Europe (1973) 140

    He was also the ancient one-eyed god, crafty and skilled in magic lore, a great shape-changer, and an expert in the consultation of the dead.

  • 1969 M. Z. Bradley Brass Dragon (1980) viii. 137 Marion Zimmer Bradley bibliography

    ‘What—what are those things?’ ‘Dikri,’ said Karsten. ‘Shape-changers. You have, on your Earth, legends of werewolves. The dragon-shape is their true shape, but they can adjust it to pass as human among men.’

  • 1981 V. N. McIntyre Entropy Effect v.137 Vonda N. McIntyre

    It is also possible that the Enterprise is playing host to a shape-changer.

  • 1988 S. McCrumb Bimbos of Death Sun xiv. 210 Sharyn McCrumb bibliography

    What kind of shape-changer is it?

  • 1989 D. Koontz Midnight iii. xxxvi. 453

    If these people were more of those shapechangers, they wouldn’t be staggering up to us so hesitantly.

  • 1990 Thrust Winter 6/3

    Megaships with minds destroy ringworlds. An energy superspecies cordons off planets of the dead. The escapades of the shape-changer hero recall certain events in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

  • 1991 Locus May 25/3

    Their big job is to care for the odd tribe of albino shapechangers who inhabit the mountain.

  • 1992 Locus Aug. 19/1

    There aren’t really any…literal shape-changers transmogrifying into werewolves down in City Park.

  • 1995 Interzone Feb. 62/3

    Whereas a shapechanger is usually a receptacle of evil instincts, Charnas has created a beast that represents the wildness of youth, a vivid, vicious, amoral expression of one person’s feral appetite for life.

  • 1996 SFX May 12/2

    Originally, this was going to be the definitive book of shape changer movies, but we had to squeeze about a third of it out.

  • 2014 C. S. Friedman Dreamwalker xx. 215 page image C. S. Friedman bibliography

    When you are actively fleeing alien pursuit and being hunted by shapechangers and diving into unknown worlds, you don’t have any choice about the matter. They’re coming after you, so you run.

Research requirements

antedating 1906

Earliest cite

W. B. Yeats 'Poems, 1899-1905'

Research History
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2014 cite from C. S. Friedman.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 1944 cite from Manly Wade Wellman.

Last modified 2021-11-01 21:02:00
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.