cringe!

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Wince, flinch and shudder at this question from Issy, 19, in Manchester:

What word did people use to describe the act/feeling of ‘cringing’ before the word ‘cringing’?

I hate the word really, but I can’t think of any other word which works as perfectly in the situation!

I don’t mean to insult you, Issy, but a more interesting question is what the word ‘cringe’ was up to before it meant ‘cringe’ – back 800 or so years ago, it meant ‘die in battle’! Truefact.

And it would be a bit silly of you to like the word, when it encapsulates your visceral reaction to things you dislike.

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