Why Does the "Mor" in Voldemort Sound So Evil?

Voldemort just seems like the perfect evil villain name. It’s got that "mor" sound that all villains have. Well, maybe not all, but quite a few: Moriarty, Morbius, Mordred. Morpheus in The Matrix wasn’t a villain, but he was ominously scary. And there’s "mor"e:

Frodo Baggins went through the mines of Moria to get to Mordor, where he met Sauron, who, as great a villain as he was, started out as the lieutenant of Morgoth, the original and darkest villain in the world of Tolkien's Middle Earth.

H.G. Wells sent his time traveller into the future to encounter a cave-dwelling evil race called the Morlocks. He also created an evil genius called Dr. Moreau.

The syllable "mor" is a phonestheme, which is a word part that carries connotations due to association. The Week looks at mor” and other phonesthemes and how just a couple of letters can get a reputation of their own.


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haha, thank you! My link to this page would not allow me to click on the linked article until now! I was confused as to why the article didn't explain this further! I kept saying to myself that the "mort" part was so obvious! I am a student of French, so the realization soon followed with the rest of Voldemort's name!
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Well, as an addition, in French "vol" means theft or burglary, and "mort" means death. So you could look at Voldemort in this way, "vol de mort" which would translate as "death burglary", or "stealing death". That is absolutely fitting seeing as Voldemort was trying to live forever.
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Hmm. OK, let's do an experiment.
"I'm going out to get some milk and cookies from Voldemort"
(Sounds terrible. They'll be spoiled or poisonous)
"I'm going out to get some milk and cookies from Volde-Mart"
(Sounds . . . actually about the same. Who would buy food at a Volde-Mart?)

Nope, the "Mor" phoneme has no effect at all!
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