Tag Archives: goosebumps

Cajun French: Frissons

It’s time for another lesson in Cajun French.

As my sister-in-law said in her comment last week, this is one of her favorite words to use. Honestly, it’s one of mine as well. While I love envie, frissons expresses perfectly when I get a chill. I’m not talking about the “oh, it’s cold” kind of chill. I mean when you feel a chill creep over your skin for no reason other than fear, or excitement, or even superstition.

Frisson, or frissons, means exactly that: chill, goosebump. It’s pronounced free-zawn, free-zawns, with the ending sounding like the “aw” in awning. It’s a soft “n”. You would use this in a sentence like, “Mais, I got the frissons! That movie was scary!” or “This place gives me the frissons.”

It’s a great word and I use it without even thinking about it. I don’t even know when I first heard it, so I suppose it’s been part of my vocabulary for years. It’s kind of like cher and mais for me. I just know it and if you sound it out, it sounds like the perfect word to use when you catch a sudden chill. Frisson. It almost sounds like freezing. If I were motivated, I could probably figure out the exact origin of the word, but it’s early and I just can’t do it, lol.

So the next time you’re watching another M. Night Shyamalan movie or reading a Stephen King novel and you develop goosebumps, call it the frissons.

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