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Halch

Definition: To hug; to press firm against one’s self.

Pronunciation: “Halch”. Exactly as it seems; one singular syllable that rolls over the “L” in the middle of the word.

(For those who are ESL, keep in mind: This word has a hard, consonant “-ch” ending that is verbalized by pushing air through the teeth while both top and lower sets are pressed together. For similar examples, see the pronunciations for “filch”, “Mitch”, and “stitch”, and the pronunciation for the beginning mini-syllable of words like “chomp”, “choose”, and “chimp”.)

Origin:

Currently unknown; possibly contemporary Americana.

Why this word?

To be honest, I’ve never heard this word spoken aloud. I’ve only ever seen it printed once, in a very old book, and the way it was being used described the main character in question pulling another very quickly and very firmly against their chest while using their arms– In short, a “hug”.

And, I’d quite like for this word to get picked up in contemporary use! (Not gon’a happen, but hey; it’d be nice.) The way this term sounds in the mouth feels cozy and warm; like a nice little descriptor assigned to one of the most basic, necessary feelings that a human being can appreciate with another.

How would you use this word in a sentence?

Example: “She halched him close to her breast in a quick, anxious motion, and she held him for a few tight seconds before releasing him, like jumping back from a brand; just as the train whistle blew.”

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Written by Veronica Jacobs

Veronica Jacobs is a fiction writer, blogger, academic editor, and sci-fi enthusiast. Currently working freelance (with a background in English Literature), she spends most of her time writing.

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