2

I've learned the word 'spine-tingling' in an Oxford book. While when I look up that word in the Websters dictionary,there only comes out 'spine-chilling'. I perceived them as synonyms but no evidence suggests that. So what's the difference between them and what are their usage?

7
  • 3
    That would depend on the context. Some sexual positions are intriguing, others less so. All people are different, and no reaction can be predicted with any kind of certainty.
    – Ricky
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 12:05
  • 2
    You had better try looking up what "tingling/tingle" and "chilling/chill" mean. They are all there.
    – user140086
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 12:15
  • 1
    @Ricky - Neither term has primarily sexual connotations.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 12:33
  • 1
    @HotLicks: That's what THEY want you to think. In accordance with the prophecy.
    – Ricky
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 12:36
  • 1
    They mean essentially the same thing -- scary. "Spine-tingling" is by far the more common, in the US, but "spine-chilling" might be used for, eg, a zombie movie that leaves one feeling cold and "dead" vs overly stimulated.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 12:36

2 Answers 2

1

There is a picture in today's Otago Daily Times of a man running whilst he is ablaze from an explosion, and the caption reads, " The spine-tingling image of a man running while engulfed in flames ", etc.. This, to me, should be described as ' spine-chilling' rather than tingling, because of the horror and life threatening aspect. Spine tingling is a different experience altogether, I think anyway.

1
  • Just plain chilling would ordinarily be the best choice for something unspeakably horrifying -- but for fires it would be unfortunately ludicrous.
    – Bread
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 22:37
0

According to A Dictionary of Confusable Phrases: More than 10,000 Idioms and Collocations:

Something spine-chilling is terrifying, whereas something spine-tingling is exciting.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.