Going tharn

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Tatti, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Tatti New Member

    Hi all,
    In The Stand by Stephen King, there is a phrase: An animal which had gone tharn would crouch in the middle of the road, its ears flattened, watching as a car rushed toward it, unable to move from the certain oncoming death. So, the meaning of the expression to go tharn is pretty clear but when I asked some native speakers about the phrase, they told me that tharn is an old word and it's not of every-day use. What is more colloquial equivalent of the phrase? Thanks!!
  2. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
  3. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    Urban dictionary gives the answer: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tharn
  4. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Wikipedia supports the Watership Down theory ... which explains why it was familiar to me though I couldn't remember the source :)
  5. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    There is also: Stark: Archaic or poetic rigid, as in death (esp in the phrases stiff and stark, stark dead) Despite its being described as archaic, I heard it used (over 30 years ago) in Lincolnshire (UK) with respect to rabbits in the headlights.

    (But then, if you have ever been to Lincolnshire...)
  6. Tatti New Member

    Thank you, guys, but I am still not clear about which word(s) to use when describing a situation like the one in The Stand but in a more common way? And, in the perpend's link, there is an example: “Of course, if I got to meet Obama, I'd probably go tharn.” The same question, what to say to express the state of going tharn? I would freeze up? I would get frozen? :confused:
  7. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    "I'd probably freeze."

    "I'd probably freeze up."

    "I'd probably freeze [up] like a deer in the headlights."

    However, not "I would get frozen." That means that something outside you caused the freezing, not your own emotions. When we place water in a freezer, or when the temperature at a pond drops below 32°F/0°C, the water gets frozen and becomes ice.
  8. Tatti New Member

    Thanks a lot!!:)
  9. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    :thumbsup: That would be my choice too. (Mind you, knowing my luck I'd probably throw up rather than freeze up:rolleyes:)

    I read Watership Down ¾-of-a-lifetime ago and thought it was so brilliant that I bored the pants off my family by reading it out loud to them on a holiday in France. I've never read it since and had successfully blotted (go) tharn from my memory.

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