Word of the Day

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

frisson

\free-SOHN\ , noun;
1.
A moment of intense excitement; a shudder; an emotional thrill.
Quotes:
When we think a story hasn't been invented, there's an extra frisson in reading it.
-- "Too true", Independent, April 12, 1998
As every parent knows, children have a love-hate relationship with stories about monsters. They love the frisson of hearing about such terrifying creatures as the Cyclops -- but hate to think about what they might do if they bumped into one.
-- "Strange but true: One in the eye for all those Homer-phobes", Daily Telegraph, June 21, 1998
When we stopped in traffic at the Plaza de la Cibeles on the Paseo del Prado, where a grandiose 18th-century statue of the goddess of fertility poised on a chariot seemed to be waiting for the light to change, a little frisson of pleasure jolted through me, because this part of Madrid reminded me of Paris.
-- "Counting Pesetas in Madrid", New York Times, March 17, 1996
Origin:
Frisson comes from the French, from Old French friçon, "a trembling," ultimately from Latin frigere, "to be cold."
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