Could you say 'The gale was blowing about his jacket' ? I'd like to express the repetitive movement of his jacket going from side to side.

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    Do you want to describe the "strong wind" or the "motion of his jacket"? For the wind, you can look into "gust" (noun), "blustery" (adjective), or their synonyms. – Dan Bron Feb 23 '15 at 19:18
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    The jacket flapping in the strong wind. – user66974 Feb 23 '15 at 19:28
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    swing, bounce, rock, sway, vibrate, flutter, wobble, oscillate, shake, wave, whip, be battered, flap, be agitated. – Hot Licks Feb 23 '15 at 21:51
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    saying the gale was blowing about the jacket makes it sound like the gale is smaller than the jacket. "The Gale was blowing his jacket about" avoids this wrinkle. – Oldcat Feb 24 '15 at 2:37
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    The key here is: do you want to describe the gale or the jacket? Different subjects draw the reader's attention to different places. – shadowtalker Feb 24 '15 at 13:15

Whipping could be used metaphorically, to describe both the wind and the jacket:

2.0 Move fast or suddenly in a specified direction:

In the continuous form, the word picture of "quick motion" is ongoing, evoking the image of a literal whip being drawn back and struck forward repetitively.

It applies to the jacket metaphorically as it moves back and forth, and applies to the wind as the cause of the jackets whipping motion.

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    +1. Whipping implies a strength of motion more commensurate with a gale than does flapping. – Kal_Torak Feb 24 '15 at 14:01

I'd go with His coat was flapping in the wind.



1. the action of striking someone or something repeatedly and violently. see google.com, “buffeting” Link

"His nylon jacket was repeatedly buffeted by the howling gale"

Buffet verb: 1. (especially of wind or waves) strike repeatedly and violently; batter. Synonyms: batter, pound, lash, strike, hit; see google.com, “buffet” Link

"rough ocean winds buffeted their jackets"

  • Doesn't shredded have a much stronger meaning? His jacket isn't in pieces, it's just fiercely blown by the wind. – Ivan Feb 25 '15 at 9:00

Maybe battered? "The wind battered at his jacket". I assume he's wearing the jacket, not that it's hoisted into the air from the ground or a clothesline.


His jacket fluttered in the fierce gale.

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    That seems rather odd. Fluttering is much too light and feeble a movement to fit a fierce gale. His jacket may well flutter in the breeze, but in a full-on gale, it would be more likely to billow, flap, flail, or even thrash or beat around him. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 24 '15 at 13:47

How about these?

His jacket was fluttering as a gust of wind blew past us.


His jacket flapped about as a gust of wind blew past.

flap is defined as : a movement of a wing or an arm from side to side or up and down. But I suppose it could be used for describing the jacket's motion here.


Hi jacket beat against him as a gust of wind blew past.
  • fluttering is what springs to mind.+1 – Misti Feb 24 '15 at 13:24
  • Flutter describes a light movement, probably not matching that caused by a strong wind. – Jim Reynolds Feb 24 '15 at 21:42

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