Is there a technical name for that nails-on-a-chalkboard feeling?
June 19, 2008 7:03 AM   Subscribe

Nails on a chalkboard. Tearing paper. Fork tines on ceramic. Touching lycra, silk, wool.. Certain things will cause that teeth-gritting, hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck rising, Dear-God-Make-It-Stop response. What is the name for that?

I've heard it referred to as an "aversion" in a broader sense by a friend in psychology, but he didn't know if there is a more specific term for things that invoke that response in people. What say you MeFi?
posted by SilverTail to Science & Nature (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
A peeve.
posted by kittyprecious at 7:50 AM on June 19, 2008

posted by Leon at 7:59 AM on June 19, 2008

Cringe-inducing? Antipathy? Recoil?
posted by MaddyRex at 8:29 AM on June 19, 2008

Gride (via)
posted by cerebus19 at 8:32 AM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

posted by Jaltcoh at 8:40 AM on June 19, 2008

I've always thought of it as "the willies".
posted by Class Goat at 9:18 AM on June 19, 2008

I know a girl who referred to the touching fabric one (which I really don't get? pls explain?) as "It squicks me out."
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:00 AM on June 19, 2008

Neoprene does this for me in the same way nails on a chalkboard and rubbery latex (the stuff ipod/phone cases are made of) does it. 'Squicks' is a good description - literally, I feel revulsion and the hairs on my arms stand up. I often get goose-bumps...
posted by arnicae at 10:11 AM on June 19, 2008

How about "setting your teeth on edge"?
posted by The Tensor at 10:18 AM on June 19, 2008

I'm partial to "the fantods"
posted by BundleOfHers at 10:56 AM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Grates...? I like squicks. Those things definitely squick.
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 11:41 AM on June 19, 2008

I call it the heebie jeebies. Chalkboards do it. Some sounds and fabrics do too. Strangely enough, there are certain textures on vegetables and plants that get me too - especially anything with hairs/spines on the stalks. Mostly it's just touching them but I've been visually freaked by just looking at some carnivorous plants.
posted by jaimystery at 1:50 PM on June 19, 2008

I'm partial to "squick" myself, but cerebus19 came closest to what I was looking for. Thanks guys!
posted by SilverTail at 1:53 PM on June 19, 2008

Don't know from those tactile fabric sensations, but I've heard the reason for the reaction to the blackboard sound (or that of styrofoam) is it matches a resonant frequency for some human skulls.
posted by Rash at 8:15 PM on June 19, 2008

I think Ellen DeGeneres in her stand up days referred to this as the "huhs." Specifically it's something that is so offputting that all you want to do is sit in a corner and repeat, "Huh, huh...". Should sound like low guttural moan, *not* an military-type HUAH.
posted by bach at 8:22 PM on June 19, 2008

"Squick" might appeal as a portmanteau of "squeak" and "ick." "Gride" doesn't suggest anything to me.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 10:37 AM on June 20, 2008

late arrival, but NYT just asked+answered almost the same question here.
posted by traco at 7:30 PM on June 23, 2008

« Older I'm being sniffed!   |   Invest the house? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.