Is there a word/phrase for that?


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

  • 1
    What kind of stream has rocks that float? Apr 18, 2014 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. Apr 18, 2014 at 4:10
  • @JohnLawler - He said the rocks are moving, not water through rocks. Apr 18, 2014 at 4:52
  • 1
    We're not bound by what he wrote; he's not a native speaker. This is the closest thing to what was asked for. Apr 18, 2014 at 5:00
  • @JohnLawler - probably true. I thought this one might be a stumper. What is wrong with rolling? Apr 18, 2014 at 5:11

5 Answers 5


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.


Consider gurgling

  • To flow in a broken irregular current with a bubbling sound.


• [ no obj. ] (of a sound) resonate; continue to be heard

Noun: Vibration.


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"


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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