With tiny [...], the bird scanned its vicinity, completely ignoring me.

I thought of the word hoppings but sounds strange and it only has 1 Google result.

Is there a better option?

  • 3
    tiny hops or tiny skips, the bird is hopping/skipping/jumping etc.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 5:45
  • hop v. 1.1 (Of a bird or other animal) move by jumping with two or all feet at once: a blackbird was hopping around in the sun 1A hopping movement: place the rabbit on the floor to have a hop around oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/hop
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 7:39
  • Yeah, my first thought is "hop".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 21:19
  • You could maybe do something with "jitter".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 21:21

2 Answers 2


Hops. There is a noun sense of hop that means such a tiny jump.

That said, I like "with tiny hoppings" better. It's a reasonable use of the gerund and the sound matches the imagery well but without being so overly poetic as to distract. Hops would be more usual, but hoppings is more vivid in this particular case.

  • Hoppings? I think hops is much better, especially because its small size better suits the adjective tiny.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 12:36
  • @Robusto but the pitter-patter of the iambic phrase "tiny hoppings", no? Aw well, I did start my answer with hops as it would be the more usual.
    – Jon Hanna
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 12:41

If you're looking for something a little different, try the noun form of flit.

flit n A fluttering or darting movement.

This adds the sense of using the wings a little, but is not overused like some of the others. You can even blend it with another idiom to make something small and fidgety:

The tiny bird moved in flits and starts.


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