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Welcome to Weird Word Wednesday! If you’re fortunate enough to live or work with a bunch of happy people, you’ll appreciate today’s weird word. Heck, today’s word just might pull you out of a funk if you give it a whirl!

group hugs are sometimes used to create unity at workToday’s great word is halch. It  means “to hug or embrace.” Our culture isn’t much for hugging at work, but I’ve noticed enough hugging in public to make me think that, overall, we’re a pretty happy nation.

We had dinner with friends recently at a wonderfully charming restaurant we’ve been to many times before. It was a while since we’d seen these great friends, so we halched as we greeted each other.

I’ve also seen groups of teenage girls, hugging like there’s no tomorrow, bouncing around with such enthusiasm that it’s enough to make me a little leery. Will I be pulled into their clutches if I get too close?

But which social situations demand a halch and when should we just settle for a handshake? Cultures around the world handle this differently, and here in the United States, it can get a little weird – I’ve been at events where I expected a handshake, but the person leaned in for a hug. This opens up a whole can of worms – just how long should the hug last? One arm or two? What if you’re the hugger and the huggee resists? It’s so much easier with family at Christmastime, isn’t it?

Sigh…all this thought for a simple halch! To sort it out, I did a little digging and came up with a source that’s pretty straightforward and sensible – at work, it’s best to stick with a handshake.

hugging in social situations can sometimes be awkward. Lloyd’s excessive halching at the office created an awkward moment for Harold, who was unable to escape gracefully.

Here’s to halching – enjoy it in moderation!