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Example:

I walked to the wall window, [...] the sawdust on the floor.

I could write brushing the sawdust with my feet but I want a shorter alternative, say a single word.

Any suggestions?

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7 Answers 7

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Scuffing is a good choice here. It means to shuffle or scrape your feet along the ground (Dictionary.com reference). It would indicate reluctance or even some petulance depending on the context, like how a child might shuffle off after being to[ld to go to bed.

Scuffling is a similar word and possibly less harsh sounding (another Dictionary.com reference). I think shuffle is too light for what you want, and if scuff is too heavy, then this is about halfway between a scuff and a shuffle.

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scuff seems a bit harsh and I don't think you could leave a scuff mark on sawdust, but in saying that I don't have an alternative in mind. –  Frank Aug 8 at 13:32
    
I do :) I agree on the scuffing. Scuffling is something old people do –  mplungjan Aug 8 at 13:52
    
I think shuffling works, too, with the right preposition: I walked to the wall window, shuffling through the sawdust on the floor. –  J.R. Aug 8 at 15:56

"Dusturbing" the sawdust on the floor.

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2  
Heh. A spiritual +1. –  Dan Bron Aug 8 at 13:07

I walked to the wall window, rustling the sawdust on the floor.

Typically used when walking through fallen leaves, I think it sets the right tone if there is a large amount of saw dust. Synonyms in this vein include: stirring, disturbing, raking, swirling, fluttering.

If you want to convey a light covering of sawdust, you could use a term that describes your feet more than the sawdust, such as:

I walked to the wall window, tracking through the sawdust on the floor.

Used in the meaning of

1 a : detectable evidence (as the wake of a ship, a line of footprints, or a wheel rut) that something has passed
    b : a path made by or as if by repeated footfalls : trail

Merriam-Webster, track

Synonyms for this flavor: imprinting, furrowing, gouging, drifting (as in snow drifts), etching.

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I walked to the wall window, toeing the sawdust on the floor.

Note that toeing is a sexual term according to UrbanDictionary, but I suspect that definition is something some prankster made up rather than an actual practice.

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2  
...aren't most things sexual according to UrbanDictionary? –  Kyle Strand Aug 8 at 20:02

I suggest Waft:

I walked to the wall window, wafting through the sawdust on the floor.

TheFreeDictionary.com

1. To cause to go gently and smoothly through the air or over water.
2. To convey or send floating through the air or over water.

....

2. the act or an instance of wafting
4. a wafting motion

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5  
When I think of "wafting", I picture something airborne, like scent or dust. –  Kristina Lopez Aug 8 at 14:16
    
Yes, which is what wafting also means - I thought it was perfect since you can waft and then whatever you waft through also wafts –  mplungjan Aug 8 at 14:25
1  
Wafting through the waftiness of the wafting dust! :-) –  Kristina Lopez Aug 8 at 15:07
    
This sounds simply incorrect to me; it strikes me as the sort of thing someone might write after five minutes with a thesaurus, without actually knowing what "wafting" means. Walking is extremely unlike wafting, even if you're graceful and light-footed. –  Kyle Strand Aug 8 at 20:01
    
If I walk through sawdust, I am sure the dust would start wafting. I think it is very poetic :) So I approached the wall window, wafting through the sawdust on the floor. –  mplungjan Aug 8 at 21:18

I walked to the wall window, padding across the sawdust on the floor.

I padded to the window through the sawdust on the floor.

dictionary.com

verb (used without object), padded, padding.
7. to travel on foot; walk.
8. to walk so that one's footsteps make a dull, muffled sound.

websters 1913

Pad, v. i. 1. To travel heavily or slowly. Bunyan.

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I walked to the wall window, treading the sawdust on the floor.

This is but a suggestion of the many that are available.

I feel the answer to your question lies both in the distinction of the action and its effect. The action could; pad or stomp. The result could; grace or displace.

p.s.(I am new to this exchange and apologise in advance if my thoughts on this are not in the appropriate format - still learning.)

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