Lexica (lexica510) wrote,
Lexica
lexica510

neat word of the moment: horripilation

I'm currently reading Lois McMaster Bujold's latest book, The Hallowed Hunt, and enjoying it very much. (Bujold is one of my favorite writers, along with Sheri S. Tepper.) At one point, she uses the word "horripilating", and I realized that I've never actually looked it up. Dictionary.com to the rescue:
hor·rip·i·la·tion
Pronunciation Key (hô-rp-lshn, h-)
n.
The bristling of the body hair, as from fear or cold; goose bumps.

[Late Latin horripilti, horripiltin-, from Latin horripiltus, past participle of horripilre, to bristle with hairs  : horrre, to tremble + pilre, to grow hair (from pilus, hair).]
hor·ripi·late v.

In context from the book (no spoilers, unless you consider knowing the names of two characters a spoiler... in which case, you're far more spoiler-sensitive than I am, and you probably won't be happy reading my LJ):
[Ingrey said] "I thought the Bastard was the god of poetry."

"Oh, Him, too, aye, for drinking songs and such. And for those great songs of when the walls come crashing down and all is burning, aye, that make your hairs all stand up, those are fine!" Jokol waved his arms to mime horripilating tragedies suitable for epic verse.
I'm about 2/3 of the way through the book and would definitely recommend it. Although you don't absolutely need to have read The Curse of Chalion or Paladin of Souls (so far, no characters from those books have appeared, and I think it's not even set at the same time), you'd probably enjoy it more if you have, as she's not going into nearly as much detail about the theology of the five gods in this one as she did in the previous two.
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