11

Example:

Mom came over and [...] on the bed, making my head bounce on the pillow.

  • If the subject was going to "lie" on the bed exhausted, and alone then the verb collapse would have been perfect. – Mari-Lou A Sep 24 '14 at 6:45
  • heh! i love this question – Fattie Sep 24 '14 at 11:32
  • If you want a "non-slang sounding" approach (like for a scientific paper), something like "Mother came over to the bed and sat down with her full weight, making my head bounce on the pillow." phrases like "...with her full weight..." are kind of polite ways to refer to sitting, etc actions by persons of mass. "The sumo guy punched me with his full weight behind it" sort of thing. – Fattie Sep 24 '14 at 11:34
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    It's not immediately clear why you'd need to say this in a scientific paper -- but if anyone needs to do that, you're covered! – Fattie Sep 24 '14 at 11:35
  • if she did it 'exhausted' then you can say she 'passed out' on the bed. – n00b Sep 25 '14 at 14:37

13 Answers 13

39

Mom came over and plopped on the bed, making my head bounce on the pillow.

Or dropped.

  • To let the body drop heavily: Exhausted, I plopped into the armchair.

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary

  • Other people are saying "plonk" and "plunk" -- "plop" is clearly correct. ("Collapse" and "drop" are OK, but un-evocative, in my opinion.) – Malvolio Sep 24 '14 at 5:28
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    @Malvolio both plunk and plonk are fine and evocative. I personally disagree with drop e.g. "Mom dropped (herself) on the bed"? meh.. – Mari-Lou A Sep 24 '14 at 6:42
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    If Mom "plopped" on my bed, I'd scream at her and make her clean it up. urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=plop – Graham Borland Sep 24 '14 at 8:12
  • "dropped" is great, ML. "I dropped on to the chair" "He dropped right in to the chair" - very natural – Fattie Sep 24 '14 at 11:33
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    I would say plopped down on the bed, rather than simply plopped. – David Conrad Sep 24 '14 at 16:49
15

Mum came over and plonked herself on the bed, making my head bounce on the pillow

  • (often foll by down) to drop or be dropped, esp heavily or suddenly: he plonked the money on the table.

Source: www.thefreedictionary.com

  • 1
    plonked, as in plonked down. - To place something down somewhat roughly, or in a non-gentle way. "I plonked the heavy parcel straight down onto my bed." – cjp Sep 24 '14 at 5:44
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    There's an edit button there. :) – dwjohnston Sep 24 '14 at 5:48
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    ODO even has a reflexive example. – Andrew Leach Sep 24 '14 at 6:04
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    Is this British English? I've never heard this word as an American. – David K Sep 24 '14 at 12:26
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    It's in the Australian Macquarie Dictionary: PLONK DOWN - to place or drop heavily or suddenly. – cjp Sep 25 '14 at 0:10
10

I would use flump because it sounds like a noise the action might cause, and evokes both slump and flop simultaneously. Oddly, it appears Flump is also the name of a British marshmallow candy, which might confuse candy aficionados.

Flump v 1: To move or fall suddenly or heavily

  • Never heard this word in my life living in Iowa, Texas, and Colorado. – DCShannon Sep 25 '14 at 0:35
  • There's also the British 70's TV show The Flumps :) – Tony Sep 25 '14 at 14:10
  • Born in Iowa, also lived in Nebraska and Minnesota. First thing I thought of was "fwumped" or "fwhumped". – mskfisher Sep 25 '14 at 15:58
  • I had never heard this used and yet "made it up" many years ago to refer to my large cat flopping down. I was surprised to see it here! Perfect word. Sounds like what it is. – mvl Sep 26 '14 at 3:17
8

The word "slump", that is, to fall swiftly, far and suddenly, comes to mind here. It may be a bit strong, depending on the exact context. To "slump" is very near in meaning to "collapse" and, when said of people or other living animals in a context like yours, is wont to bespeak someone very tired, exasperated (maybe even near to a nervous breakdown!) or undergoing a medical crisis like faint, heart attack, cerebral ischaemia, having swallowed a cyanide suicide pill or having been shot through the window by a disgruntled neighbour ...... (let your imagination run wild). So, if Mum wasn't very tired or being picked off by violent locals, look for something else. However, slump, IMO is a wonderful example of onomatopoeia.

  • I looked up slump and found this definition at the top of the list, but I'm much more familiar with the 'slouch' meaning of slump - which is not only not falling heavily, but doesn't involve falling at all - so the connotation seems all wrong. – DCShannon Sep 25 '14 at 0:34
  • @DCShannon I cite only my knowledge of meaning as a native speaker: It may be that our dialects differ on the fine meanings of the word (I hail from Australia) but I doubt it: the word is quite modern, peculiar in supposedly coming from Norse in the late 1600s (I wasn't aware of Norse influx as late as this), and it is often sensationalised by the media "Share prices slump", as does a politician's performance in the polls. Its overuse in this way likely leads to its being an exaggerated way of saying to slouch or to wilt in some people's minds. Compare French "abimé" meaning slightly ... – WetSavannaAnimal Sep 25 '14 at 3:19
  • @DCShannon ..marred or spoilt (like a chipped glass), whereas its original meaning was to cast into "une abîme", i.e. an almost bottomless pit, i.e. to destroy utterly. I don't sense this exaggeration yet here in Aust; notwithstanding its overuse: I think "slump" to most people when said of a living thing bespeaks its life, or at least consciousness, having been stricken from it suddenly. – WetSavannaAnimal Sep 25 '14 at 3:21
6

Answerers have offered plop, plonk, plunk, and slump, but not the very similarly spelled verb that I think conveys the heaviness of the action most accurately. From Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003):

plump vb 1 : to drop, sink, or come in contact suddenly or heavily {plumped down in the chair}

Depending on how plump your mom is, when she plumps down on your bed, your head may very well bounce on your pillow.

6

I prefer flopped - it gives an image of someone almost exhausted vaguely aiming for the bed with little thought of controlling the impact or preventing their limbs flailing.

plonked and plopped as have been suggested previously give me the imagery of people who are actually aiming for the bed in a controlled manner, but with little thought as to the weight of the impact.

Depends what you are trying to convey in the story IMHO.

4

Plunk: (from TFD)

  • To drop or fall abruptly ; plunked onto the couch with a sigh of relief.
3

Mom came over and slumped on the bed, making my head bounce on the pillow.

1

Collapsed is another possibility:

Mother came over and collapsed onto the bed...

0

I would think slumped would be appropriate here.

0

If you desire an edge of violence or disruption, you might try flounce down. From the verb definition of flounce in the OED:

flounce, v. 1.a. intr. To go with agitated, clumsy, or violent motion; to dash, flop, plunge, rush. Also with away, out, etc.

An example is given from Thackeray, Newcomes II. xxxiii. 299: "Rosey's mamma flouncing down on a chair."

0

You could say

  • Mum dumped herself on the bed
  • Mum plonked herself down on the bed
  • Mum plopped down on the bed
  • Mum crashed onto the bed
  • Mum crashed down onto the bed
  • Mum crash-landed on the bed
  • Mum landed on the bed
-1

The world's best authors would make up their own word if one didn't exist. Go for it, make one up, if it is onomatopoeic enough we will all know what you mean.

(Lewis Carrol, Shakespeare, Dr Seuss, Tolkien etc)

  • I think the world's best authors will spend a whole week trying to find the right word. – janoChen Sep 26 '14 at 13:50

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