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Is there a word/phrase for that?


I closed my eyes, and listened to the [...] stones.

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What kind of stream has rocks that float? – RyeɃreḁd Apr 18 '14 at 3:52
Babbling is often used with the word brook and its synonyms to refer to the sound of rapid water flow over and through small obstacles like rocks. – John Lawler Apr 18 '14 at 4:10
@JohnLawler - He said the rocks are moving, not water through rocks. – RyeɃreḁd Apr 18 '14 at 4:52
We're not bound by what he wrote; he's not a native speaker. This is the closest thing to what was asked for. – John Lawler Apr 18 '14 at 5:00
@JohnLawler - probably true. I thought this one might be a stumper. What is wrong with rolling? – RyeɃreḁd Apr 18 '14 at 5:11
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Depending on the size of the stones and other characteristics of the stream and stones, it could be clashing, rattling, grinding, whispering, tumbling (not exactly a sound, but still), grumbling, grating.

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Consider gurgling

  • To flow in a broken irregular current with a bubbling sound.
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• [ no obj. ] (of a sound) resonate; continue to be heard

Noun: Vibration.

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Burble seems like a good choice.

  • (Verb) Make a continuous murmuring noise:

"a stream burbled through the woods"

  • (Noun) Continuous murmuring noise:

"the steady burble of running water"

Also Babbling

  • 2 (usually as adjective babbling) (Of a stream) make the continuous murmuring sound of water flowing over stones:

"a gently babbling brook"

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To my ear, the term that works best in your example is "clatter."

I closed my eyes, and listened to the clattering stones.

For denser rocks, consider "rumble."

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