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goose bumps

Small bumps on the skin in response to cold or fear


Google hits: 782,000 goose bumps = Gänsehaut I got goose bumps = Ich bekam eine Gänsehaut



With GOOSE BUMPS rising on my skin, I remember another route lined with people 11 years ago, when I was part of the first UN group to enter Haiti after the removal of military dictators.

(Eric Falt, BBC News)

Did you

goose bumps (also goose pimples)
noun phrase

- a temporary condition in which small raised swellings appear on the skin because of cold, fear, or excitement
(Cambridge Dictionary)

The term goose bumps, the tiny little bumps on the skin that are accompanied by a prickly sensation, stems from the simple comparison to poultry skin. They could be called turkey bumps or chicken bumps. But for some reason we settled on the goose.

You can get goose bumps after stepping out of the shower and into a cool space, or by listening to a favourite piece of music for instance. But what actually produces these physical and emotional phenomena?

As the Scientific American points out, goose bumps are caused by a contraction of miniature muscles attached to each hair. Each muscle creates a shallow depression on the skin surface, causing the surrounding area to protrude. The contraction also causes the hair to stand up whenever the body feels cold.

In animals with a thick hair coat this rising of hair expands the layer of air that serves as insulation. The thicker the hair layer, the more heat is retained.

The hair will also stand up when animals feel threatened, which is caused by the release of adrenaline, the same hormone that is released in the human body when something emotional occurs.


cold creeps, cold shivers, goose pimples, goose flesh, goose skin, heebie-jeebies, horripilation, shivers, willies, pilomotor reflex


"Just the thought of making a presentation at the conference gives me goose bumps"

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