Pronounced: taf-uh-FOE-bee-uh, noun
Notes: Clearly “a fear of” something — but what?
The word rill means
- a small stream
- a narrow groove carved by erosion
Our word came into English in the mid-1500s
Background / Comments
As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve only run across this word in song. It is in the words to “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” (I love thy rocks and rills…). It is also in the Christian chorus “God Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills” (He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills). I was not aware of the second meaning, but now that I know it, I can say that I see a lot of rills after a rainstorm. The word comes the the Dutch word ril or possibly the Low German word Rille (groove).