What are the five literary classics that had the most uninspiring original titles?

First Impressions

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is a story that gives the readers a detailed account of life and liberty in the Regency Era. Published in 1813, it is a social satire that has remained relevant for centuries in its exploration of themes like economic anxiety, class, and the desire to go up the social ladder.

Scholars say that this novel of manners was written as early as 1796-97 and was initially called First Impressions.

The Dead Un-Dead

 Dracula is the most infamous vampire name by far, but did you know that this character was originally going to be called Count Wampyr? That is, until Bram Stoker came across the story of Vlad II of Wallachia and the surname of his descendants, "Dracul", while doing some research. Before he found the name Dracula and assigned it to his character and book, the working title of the 1897 novel was The Dead Un-Dead.

Tomorrow is Another Day

 Gone With the Wind was the only novel author Margaret Mitchell wrote in her lifetime. Published in 1936, this book marks an important moment in American culture when it was on the cusp of the old and the new. The novel focusses on love, civil war, slavery, and immigration among other things through the experiences of an Irish immigrant family that has come to the U.S. and settled in the south where slavery was a thriving institution. This Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War epic continues to be a hit among the masses. But the lesser-known fact about this classic is that it almost went to print under the name Tomorrow is Another Day. However, the author changed it to what it is, drawing inspiration from a poem by 19th-century French poet Ernest Dowson.

The Last Man in Europe

The original title for George Orwell's iconic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four published in 1949, was The Last Man in Europe. A couple of months before the manuscript was to be published, Orwell wrote to his publisher, Fredric Warburg, stating that he could not decide between "The Last Man in Europe" and "Nineteen Eighty-Four”. Warburg suggested the latter, as he felt it was a more commercial title.


American author Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird was a literary sensation when it was first published in 1960. The Chicago Tribune called it "a novel of strong contemporary national significance." The novel's title is taken from a conversation between Scout and Atticus where the latter states that "it's a sin to kill a mockingbird" However, this was not the original title of the book. The beloved classic was supposed to be called Atticus until Lee decided that it put too much focus on a single character.

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What is the meaning, origin and usage of word ‘Meltdown’?

Meaning: The word meltdown is used to denote a disastrous collapse or breakdown. It is also used to refer to an accident in a nuclear reactor in which the fuel overheats and melts the reactor core or shielding.

Origin: The word meltdown was arrived at by bringing the words "melt" and "down" in the 1630s. The word was used to refer to "an act or the process of melting metal" by 1922. By 1956, it was also used in reference to the accidental melting of the core of a nuclear reactor. The metaphoric extension of the word to imply "breakdown in self-control" is attested since 1979.

Usage: The COVID-19 pandemic led to multiple major meltdowns in the global financial systems.

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What is the meaning, origin and usage of word ‘Cloying’?

Meaning: This adjective means disgusting or distasteful by reason of excess. It also means excessively sweet or sentimental.

Origin: Cloying derives from the verb cloy, which now means “to supply or indulge to excess", but which once meant "to clog", and earlier "to prick a horse with a nail in shoeing". Cloy itself traces via Middle English to Anglo-French encloer (which also meant "to prick a horse with a nail in shoeing") and ultimately to Latin clavus, meaning "nail".

Usage: The sweet was rich and tasty without being cloying.

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What is the meaning, origin and usage of word ‘Spiel’?

Meaning: A noun, spiel is a fast speech. It is most often a speech that has been rehearsed well before and is used to convince someone to buy something or agree with something.

Origin: The word traces its origin to its German root, spielen. It is also used as a verb that means "to play music" which is the word's original meaning if we go by its German root.

Usage: The morning was just breaking and the salesman was already there at our door, ready with his opening spiel.

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What is the meaning, origin and usage of word ‘Usher’?

Meaning: Usher is used as a verb and a noun. As a verb, it means to show someone where they should go. As a noun, it refers to the person who guides people to their seats in a theatre. It also means to herald something when the term is followed by in.

Origin: The term usher comes from Latin ostiarius meaning doorman or guard posted at the entrance of a building, from ostium meaning 'door’. It is said to have entered late Middle English (denoting a doorkeeper) from Anglo-Norman French usser, which in turn came from medieval Latin ustiarius.

Usage: When we showed our tickets, the usher helped us to find our seats in the dark in the cinema.

Beautiful cherry blossoms usher in spring.

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