What is the name of this percussion instrument in English?

It is gripped by the round handle. By using circular movements of the hand, the flat part is spun around the handle, causing the thin wooden leaf in the middle to snap against the gear and emit a repeating sharp sound.

mystery instrument

  • 3
    Do you know the name of it in a different language? If you look it up on Wikipedia in your native language, you can look at the language options in the sidebar to see if there's a "view this page in English" link. That's how I translate a lot of unique stuff.
    – Catija
    Jun 17, 2015 at 18:22
  • 3
    It's a ratchet. Jun 17, 2015 at 18:24
  • 1
    Otherwuse known as a Football Rattle www.amazon.co.uk/Football-Rattle -
    – Hugh
    Jun 17, 2015 at 18:42
  • It "is", as it were, a ratchet - but it's usually just called a "rattle". (Although it's nothing like a rattle.) But then, people are staggeringly stupid - what are you gonne do?
    – Fattie
    Jun 17, 2015 at 19:10
  • @Catija there is no interwiki link in this case. Jun 17, 2015 at 20:45

2 Answers 2


From your description I had to think - same as StoneyB commented** - of an


They are often used at sports events.

** and in the minute of this post also Hugh did


'Ratchet' is clearly the American word, and is the Wikipedia entry. (+1 @Daniel)

So, purely for completeness:
'Football Rattle' is usual in Br English, even though many Clubs have banned its use. There are also two manufacturers making them for percussion instruments, qua ratchets, clackers, rattles and even football rattles.





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