Learn English – What does “envacuuming” mean

meaningnonce-words

Here's a passage from the novel, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy:

They picked their way among the mummied figures. The black skin
stretched upon the bones and their faces split and shrunken on their
skulls. Like victims of some ghastly envacuuming. Passing them in
silence down that silent corridor through the drifting ash where they
struggled forever in the road's cold coagulate.

What is "envacuuming"?

In the Polish version of the book, it is translated as "enwakuumowanie" and that's not even a real word.

Best Answer

They picked their way among the mummied figures. The black skin stretched upon the bones and their faces split and shrunken on their skulls. Like victims of some ghastly envacuuming.

IMO, McCarthy is employing the prefix en- to conjure up a vision of corpses which have been vacuum-ed from the inside, causing their skin to stretch tautly, and faces to shrink. Ugh!