"Tekeli-li" comes originally from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym", where it is the noise a bird in the polar land of the Tsalal makes.

Obviously, H. P. Lovecraft used it as inspiration for his first and only true appearance of the Shoggoths, in his story At the Mountains of Madness. It is thought that the Shoggoths cried "tekeli-li" to mimick the sounds that the Elder Things made.

The phrase 'Tekeli-li' is alleged variously to be Hebrew, or to mean '(the) God is angry' in Maori. In The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, the albatross-like creature (which echoes back to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner) is pure and white, and forms a part of the (alleged) racialist subtext of the work. Lovecraft, on the other hand, writes a more focussed, chilling work, and uses the phrase and its originator as a sound from the earliest eras of Earth's history, in which the Elder Things/Old Ones and their hideous creations played a crucial role.

Gritchka informs me that there is no L in Maori, and that the expression for 'God is angry' would resemble the Samoan: 'O ita le atua'.

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