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brunky

adjective; compounding
A smell that a fire on a cold winter day can have, affected by humidity (neg. connotation). (Humans are unable to naturally determine how brunky a fire is.) Mr. Watterson needed nonsense words to describe smells in English (the specific words do not exist to describe the evocative smell.) Snorky, brambish, and brunky are the three words he chose. All three have standard adjectival endings (‘-y’ or ‘-ish’) and it is possible that the roots were carefully chosen. ‘Brunky’ is the most confusing of the three words, and I could not find any meaning to attach to the root ‘brunk.’ All I know about it from the context is that low humidity affects the brunkiness of a fire’s smell, and that a fire with higher brunkiness seems to be bad – Hobbes seems to describe the smell with a negative connotation.
 
That fire has a snorky, brambish smell. It's a little brunky, but the low humidity affects that.
Etymology : Etymology unknown, possible ending -y 'adj. ending'
Source : Calvin and Hobbes comic strip
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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