One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A device invented by Charles Dodgson (‘Lewis Carroll’) with which a person can record ideas (especially those remaining after sleep) at night in bed without fully waking up.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in ‘Lewis Carroll’ (1832–1898), author, mathematician, and photographer (real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). From nycto- + -graph. Compare French nyctographe machine enabling the blind to write or the sighted to write in the dark, and Hellenistic Greek νυκτογραϕία writing by night.
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