Goosebumps, the hair-raising you get with ‘the chills’, only occurs in mammals. You’ve seen it on a cat or dog’s back. Somewhere along the way it may have made one look larger (porcupine = raised quills) but sensing an animal feels threatened is enough of a yield sign for me!

It would seem most languages use the visual of plucked fowl to describe this:

  • German: Gänsehaut/goose skin
  • Italian: pelle d’oca/skin of goose
  • Dutch: kippevel/chicken skin
  • French: chair de poule/flesh of chicken
  • Hebrew:  duck skin/עור ברווז

But I really like the Tamil (southern India/Sri Lanka) expression: pullarippu/grass itch

A sudden unexpected case of them might also prompt yet another expression: ‘someone is walking over my grave’.

2 thoughts on “Goosebumps

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