This is a new segment that I realized has potential, though I can’t say that it’ll recur as frequently or routinely as the forgotten words segment. In it, I’ll introduce words that I feel could exist in our modern English language, but for some reason, they’ve remained relatively untouched in the novel in which they were introduced.
The forerunner from this class of words is from Richard Adams’s lapine novel: Watership Down.
Tharn [noun or adjective] meaning intense fear, or the state of being in such fear. (Imagine: deer in headlights). In Adams’s novel, the rabbits worry about falling victim to tharn because it results in erratic behavior like fleeing, panic, or terror. It’s a creeping sort of terror. One particular instance where the rabbits might feel tharn is if they are trying to cross an open stretch of land with little cover.
Fear is a topic of much writing in this modern day and age, so why should we not try to spice up our own descriptions?
Being last to present in my class, the tharn slowly hijacked my body to a point where my pulse raced as though fleeing from the teeth of a fox. (Rabit humor intentional.)
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: Avon, 1972. Print.
[Photocredit: Matthew Travagline riding in a very fast-moving hrududu somewhere between North and South Carolina.]