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Made Up Words

Grok. Tharn.


Grok and tharn are my favorite made up words.

Grok is a Martian word that comes from the book by Robert A Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land. The translation of “grok” means to understand something on a deep, intuitive level, maybe even on a visceral level.


My other favorite word is “Tharn.” It comes from the 1972 book Watership Down by Richard Adams. In the book, when a rabbit stands perfectly still it is hoping to not be seen.  There are rabbits in my neighborhood, and I have often seen then freeze up as I approach, as if by being ever so still I, and my dog, will not see them.

Tharn shows up in Middle English texts 1300-1500 but then falls into disuse. (Oxford English Dictionary


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