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That creeking sound

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Topic: 8) That creeking sound (1 of 6), Read 77 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Thursday, October 07, 1999 11:52 AM

Aaron Fleisher, of Normal, Ill., writes: "What is the word for the sound a creek or stream makes? Somewhere in between a gurgle, a hiss, a babble, and a splashing sound."

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Topic: 8) That creeking sound (2 of 6), Read 73 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Dorothy Glantz (dml.glantz@swipnet.se)
Date: Thursday, October 07, 1999 01:54 PM

Didn't we have something like this 'long ago in a galaxy far away'- something about words that make sounds- or whatever.... Actually, I think we associate certain words, in this case 'sound words', with their subject: tires screech, raindrops patter, glass clinks, thunder rumbles, logs crackle, leaves rustle, tablets fizz, cameras whirr, refrigerators hum, engines whine or roar, clocks tick, bells toll and streams gurgle. However, I prefer them when they murmur. Just a thought, not an answer. Dorothy

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Topic: 8) That creeking sound (3 of 6), Read 73 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Thursday, October 07, 1999 04:27 PM

Hello, Dorothy,

The word *you* are looking for is onomatopoeia. And you're right that we previously discussed some twist on that idea -- words that look like what they mean, I believe.

For my own part, I find myself wondering why brooks babble but creeks and streams never seem to.


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Topic: 8) That creeking sound (4 of 6), Read 57 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Stacey Youdin (msyoudin@nedcomm.nm.org)
Date: Sunday, October 10, 1999 08:20 AM

"Glunk" or "ploop."

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Topic: 8) That creeking sound (5 of 6), Read 40 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Dorothy Glantz (dml.glantz@swipnet.se)
Date: Wednesday, October 13, 1999 03:48 PM

Responding to the off-the-board suggestions of 'purl': yes, that would do it for me. I wrote that I preferred streams when they murmured, which is what 'porla' in Swedish means. Porlande yours, Dorothy

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Topic: 8) That creeking sound (6 of 6), Read 11 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Birgit Houston (dbrhkraken@aol.com)
Date: Saturday, October 23, 1999 02:16 PM

Creeks chortle?

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Topic: that creeking sound (1 of 1), Read 30 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Robert Konrath (robert@compsurf.com)
Date: Monday, October 11, 1999 10:38 PM

How about "purl." Check out Webster's unabridged cd definition:

1. to flow with curling or rippling motion, as a shallow stream does over stones.
2. to flow with a murmuring sound.
3. to pass in a manner or with a sound likened to this.

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Topic: that creeking sound (1 of 1), Read 28 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Charles Elster (chelster@juno.com)
Date: Wednesday, October 13, 1999 03:15 PM

The word you need is "purl." You'll find it in various dictionaries listed as a noun, "a gentle murmuring or bubbling sound like the water of a shallow stream flowing over stones" (my definition in my book "There's a Word for It!), and as verb, "to flow with curling or rippling motion, as a shallow stream does over stones" (Random House Dictionary--second edition, unabridged).


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