shudder at the memories

Sexy Muffin

Senior Member
Russian
There is a set phrase in Russian that literally translates as
"When I recall it, I get a shudder"
or
"I get a quick shudder over my body when I suddenly recollect it"

This is said about memories which the speaker would not like to recollect and
such recollecting sends a shudder over the speaker's body similar to a situation
when an unexpected sound, noise, or voice sends a shudder over someone's body.

This is close in meaning to the English phrase "shudder at the memories".

However, the Russian "When I remember it, I get a shudder over my body" is
often used in humourous contexts like:

"Last Sunday I drank two bottles of vodka at a party. When I recall it, I get a shudder"


So, I am looking for a similar set phrase in English please.
 
  • perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Maybe: it gives me the shivers (when I think about it)

    The memories give me the shivers.
     

    Sexy Muffin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    perpend, thanks

    I think singularity of shuddering or shivering is important here.
    It would be better if singular is used to render the meaning of one-time shivering
    like a startle.

    This is what the dictionary says about a startle:
    "a complicated involuntary reaction to a sudden unexpected stimulus (especially a loud noise)"

    In this case the speaker startles not from a loud noise but from a sudden memory.
     
    Last edited:

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    It's not impossible, but a memory doesn't typically startle you. It might make you shudder, or give you the shivers, when you think back about it.

    Or, it may give you the creeps. :)
     

    Sexy Muffin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Sometimes - of course not typically - strong unpleasant memories do startle you in the way like a loud unexpected sound startles you.
    And at this moment your body makes one short involuntary movement. I think this "oneness", "singularity" of shivering is important in this context.
    That is why I don't quite like the plurals like "shudders", "shivers", or "creeps".

    Startling is a physiological reaction known to all mankind and I hope there is a set phrase in English for the context I described above.
     

    Sexy Muffin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    perpend, thank you for your efforts

    The essence of the thread is to find a good equivalent English set phrase to the Russian set phrase said in similar context.

    Though, it's quite possible that there is no such set phrase or idiom in English.
     

    DocPenfro

    Senior Member
    English - British
    There is a common phrase, almost identical to your Russian original: "I shudder at the thought", either used as such or else with an object, e.g. “I shudder at the thought of men... I'm due to fall in love again” (Dorothy Parker). It is normally used in either a humorous or a rhetorical/metaphorical way, although there is no reason why it shouldn't be used in the literal sense for something that you find genuinely repulsive.
     
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