transmogrify tran(t)s-ˈmä-grə-ˌfī , tranz- verb
: change completely the nature or appearance of
The word transmogrify has appeared in 17 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Oct. 29 in “Why Just Play Scrooge When You Can Play Everyone?” by Lisa Fung:
It was mid-December in the early 1970s. Images of the faraway Vietnam War flashed across the screen of a small black-and-white television on a table in his childhood home in Connecticut. Suddenly, the family dog burst from the kitchen in pursuit of their cat and got tangled in the cords, dragging the TV to the floor and smashing it into pieces. That night, instead of tuning in to an episode of “Wild Kingdom,” Mr. Mays’s father reached for a book from the shelf, a yellowed volume of Charles Dickens stories and read the tale aloud.
“I remember my father’s wonderful, detached narrator’s voice and my mother embodying each of the characters in a spooky way,” he recalled. “For a small child, it’s weird to see the woman that you know best transmogrifying into Marley’s Ghost or Bob Cratchit or Ebenezer Scrooge. I was riveted by that.”