A dying language

Last night my daughter asked me, what does “fardark” mean? I couldn’t believe she was asking. Fardark is a word she invented as a very young child, and it became one of those expressions that took hold with the whole family. She used it to mean very dark, scary dark, monster dark, too dark for comfort. It’s a word that expresses a concept that our language doesn’t have a word for. When we forgot to turn on the nightlight, her room was “fardark.” And the “Fardark Stair Walk” became a bedtime ritual. It involved nothing more than walking up the stairs without turning on the hall light and chanting “far-dark-stair-walk” in a creepy voice. To her, it was both frightening and thrilling.

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