Word of the Day

haust (n)


Unlike the other words I’ve posted on this blog, this is not a compound word and has no exciting, poetic combination. Yet, it isn’t the meaning behind the word so mach as the way it sounds in relation to its meaning. For this reason, I am posting the link to an audio clip in which an Icelander pronounces the very word here. This pronunciation is short and direct, but if you think about it and accentuate it, you realize that the sound is created by breathing out with the “hau” sound and bringing your lips to a close as the “ust” rolls around. Upon trying to pronounce this myself, I was reminded of the beginning of cold weather in Chicago’s Autumn, how the whole population would be cupping their hands to their mouths to breathe hot air into them, with a loud, rough “haaauuuu” sound.  Now, when I think of fall, I imagine breathing the word “haust” into my hands, and I can feel the rush of warmth extending through my palms.

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