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What verb best fits here, meaning it was the first form of words that crossed his mind?

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    The first thing that comes to mind is that you are looking for the first thing that popped into his head.
    – oerkelens
    Apr 25, 2014 at 8:41

3 Answers 3

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As oerkelens says, the verb you are looking for is pop.

Make or cause to make a light explosive sound

It is metaphorical, as there is no actual sound, but it is like the idea was in a bubble, which popped while floating through your head.

The thought popped into my head.

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  • This isn’t a metaphor; it’s a different definition: “to come or go quickly, suddenly, or unexpectedly, e.g., She popped into the kitchen to check the stove.” (See Dictionary.com, definition #3.) Jun 6, 2014 at 17:06
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Many would not use entered.

"This is the first form he considered."

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These are expressions that may be used in that context:

  • the first thing that jumped into his mind.
  • the first thing that occurred to him.
  • the first thing that came to his mind.
  • the fist thing that sprung (in)to his mind.

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