Frisson

Remember when “frisson” was the hot word?  I do; about 15 – 20 years ago, maybe.  All of a sudden I heard and read it everywhere. It was journalism’s pet noun for a while, although some people incorrectly used it as a adjective.  It was always used in a positive context, meaning a little shiver of joy or thrill.  It sounded pretentious, I thought, and then it was extra annoying because everyone was using it like they were the first.  It became tired very quickly, and then disappeared, thankfully.

I was watering my garden this morning, enjoying the tranquil quiet of flowers and butterflies, and all of a sudden I experienced one; a frisson.  The word popped into my mind simultaneously with the little shiver of joy.  A word I had not thought of in years.  I was equally amazed by both the feeling and the long forgotten word showing up.  Perhaps they just go together in a way that defies grammar and translation.  What is the word for a little shiver of acceptance?

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