What exactly does stellify mean? Watch this page as I discover factoids about this stellar word.


From Simply Stellar! by Bill Long. Emphasis not mine.

The original meaning of stellify is to “transform a person or thing into a star or constellation.” Thus, it is a term taken from the world of Greek mythology where a hero like Orion or a maiden like Cassiopeia was put in the heavens or stellified. And, the word can be used by that most outspoken book of Protestant vituperation, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, in this sense when the author says, “The bishop of Rome which for his abominable pride…is fallen from heaven, thinketh stellify again himself there from where he hath fallen.”


From Critic’s Notebook; Habitues of the House of Fame, Past and Present by John Gross (New York Times).

…Chaucer’s poem “The House of Fame” where the poet is carried aloft by an eagle. He is being taken on a flying visit to the temple of Fame as a reward for his writings, but he wonders for a moment, without particularly relishing the prospect, whether Jupiter is planning to “stellify” him. The word “stellify,” meaning “to make into a star,” was apparently coined by Chaucer; it is rather surprising that it hasn’t been revived in the 20th century.


Who would’ve thought? I found a Java function called stellify under a package of the PowerLoom project.

public static Stella_Object stellify(Stella_Object self)
Convert a Lisp object into a STELLA object.


Stellify is also the name of Sam Obernik’s album and a song by Bull Goose Loony.