Wednesday, May 4, 2011

frisson

frisson [friˈsõʊ; Fr. friˈsɔ] n.



1.) A moment of intense excitement; a shudder (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

Etymology: French, from Old French fricons, pl. of fricon, a trembling, from Vulgar Latin frictio, friction-, from Latin frigare, to be cold.

"Most English-speakers are aware that the French—indefatigable trend-spotters—have picked up words such as le weekend, un snack and le club; and as a result of this quest for novelty French is rife with anglicisms. The French feel the same frisson from saying le smoking (meaning a tux) that English speakers feel from saying frisson" (The Pillars of Hercules, Paul Theroux, 1995).
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I know, another French word. But I heard this one the other day (Rob Brydon said it on "Would I Lie to You", actually) and I've never quite been sure what it meant, so I wanted to sort it out.

32 comments:

Astronomy Pirate said...

I don't know that I've ever heard it, might be possible and I just ignored it since I didn't know. At first I thought you misspelt fission.

Oscar said...

I most certainly feel frisson when I go to bed.

strawberry Princess said...

there was a frisson when the soon to be princess walk down the else for the prince who is eagerly waiting for his bride.

Endless said...

please stop, I hate French... I had it for seven years and I still don't know anything

Kicking Rocks said...

so its like a shake!

jamiesaur said...

That's a cool word.

Zombie said...

When I found out Vader was Lukes father there was a frisson

Couture Carrie said...

Love learning new vocab. ~ thanks!

xoxox,
CC

PeaceLoveandSharpies said...

You should do 'pulchritudinous.'
I. LOVE. That. Word!
Passionately.

Dave said...

Ah used to be my favorite word. Ah nostalgia.

Meri said...

What a cool blog! I'm immensely nerdy about words, I get such pleasure from selecting "just" the right word sometimes. I can't wait to see what is next!

Bonnie said...

You're like my own personal dictionary.
I like it.

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

M Pax said...

So our characters can tremble with frisson. Excellent.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Yes, I feel frisson from saying frisson!

Biff Tanner said...

Thanks that's a good one.

Venus said...

thanks for another good post.
lol @ 'A Beer for the Shower'

DEZMOND said...

he he love all the frisson between the French and the English :)

G said...

Cool word - and I love Rob Brydon

thenitefalls said...

I feel frisson when I eat pancakes :)

redgirl said...

The earth gave a collective frisson when Florida broke off and floated south.

amBored said...

great learned new term :) and btw it's fine that you don't know about ketamine (well who wants)

Alexandra said...

Great word but eeek french!!

JayPower said...

Sounds like you need a somewhat french accent to pronounce this properly ;D

Jennifer Fabulous said...

I like how the mechanical computer voice has a better French accent than me...

Bonnie said...

Paying you $20 an hour in exchange for you carrying a large fan that makes me look beautiful and wind-blown?
I'm in.

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Rob said...

This is actually a very cool word :D I'm fine with the whole french thing.

Twenty.Something said...

This makes me happy because it is one of my good friend's last names!! I will have to share my new knowledge.

xo
http://artfashiontwentysomething.blogspot.com

zepdragon said...

I speak a little French, but haven't heard this in a looooooong time

Jen said...

Sounds like a breed of dog to me. :)

Colin Biano said...

I feel so classy saying this

frisson to you, good sir!

abrielle said...

i think it sounds very pretty!
you should try mamihlapinatapai

shari said...

Is it strange that I knew what frisson meant, as well as how to pronounce it? I believe it's used often in romance novels, as well as the occasional Stephen King novel. However, I may have read it in an Anne Rice novel. Great word!

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