• Carmen Milligan

Wednesday Word: Doppelganger


dop·pel·gäng·er n.

1. A ghostly double of a living person, especially one that haunts its fleshly counterpart. 2. Either of two people who physically resemble each other very much.

Doppelganger, a German word meaning “look-alike,” or “double walker,” originally referred to a ghost, or shadow of a person; but in modern times it simply refers to a person that is a look-alike of another person.

What a fun word!

This reminds me a little of Buddy in the movie "Elf", when he is introduced to someone named Francisco. He likes the way the name sounds so much that he keeps saying it over and over, until his dad tells him to stop. I feel that way about this word.




The original idea of a doppelganger is a clone. Someone who not only physically resembles you, but also thinks, walks, acts, etc. like you. However, over the years, and particularly with its assimilation into English, it has turned into a term meaning merely a look-alike. Some studies indicate that any one person is likely to have seven look-alikes somewhere in the world. However, the likelihood of someone walking around looking identical to you, specifically, in all eight facial features, is only one in 1 trillion.

Pretty cool word, huh?

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