Gänsehaut | Word of the Week | DW | 14.02.2014
  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages

Word of the Week


Brrr, it's cold out here!

Should you ever pluck the feathers from a goose, you'll note the pink, prickly skin underneath, literally, "Gänsehaut," or "geese skin." Humans happen to have a type of geese skin, as well. It's called "goose bumps" in English.

Whenever you're outside and a cool wind chills your body, or if you're frightened watching a scary movie, you may get goose bumps - tiny bumps along your skin. Sometimes when we're emotionally overwhelmed with something we really enjoy - like a good song or a touching story - these tiny bumps may make an appearance.

Being chilled or frightened causes a muscle reflex that makes our hair follicles tense up and our hairs stand on end. This was originally a tactic to help keep our bodies warm, or to make our bodies appear larger to potential threats. We're not as hairy as our prehistoric forefathers, which means that nowadays when we get "Gänsehaut," we're more likely to look like a plucked goose than a bushy beast.

DW recommends

WWW links

Audios and videos on the topic