WORD: heimlich

Heimlich: secret, clandestine, furtive. Langescheidt Standard Dictionary German 1993

Freud used heimlich to help enhance his definition of unheimlich, or the uncanny. I found that interesting because I had simply assumed the definition of heimlich would be the opposite of unheimlich. I attempted to start with the OED, but found that there was no definition for the word heimlich, but there was a definition for unheimlich. Based on the meaning I found in Langenscheidt, how heimlich helped to define unheimlich became a little clearer; when one finds out a secret, there is a tendency to feel an uncanny sensation. The person believes he/she should have seen it the whole time, or how could they not have seen the signs leading up to the big reveal. The normal or everyday suddenly becomes unnatural or surprising, leading to a sensation of the "uncanny".

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