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Suppose there are some naughty kids who are playing with each other in a room, they nudge each other and wrestle and climb (?) on each other! I want to tell them to stop. Which verb should I use? "Hey kids! Stop ...?" (Like the baby elephants in the picture.)

I also want to know if there is some verb that describes the activity shown in the second picture; "A group of refugees are ....(verb) for their gifts."

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    If you are their parent, I believe the traditional threat is "Don't make me come in there." – deadrat Jun 25 '15 at 5:15
  • Tnx, but I mean the name for their action! ( wrestling? Climbing? Nudging? rushing?...) – Soudabeh Jun 25 '15 at 5:20
  • I'm looking for a single verb or an expression which includes all those actions as a whole! – Soudabeh Jun 25 '15 at 5:28
  • Sorry twice. First, I was joking. Secondly, I thought you wanted a synonym for "stop." The action of naughty kids that you wish to stop is called "roughhousing." This is much different from crowd action, which may be described as jostling, surging, or stampeding depending on the level of desperation. – deadrat Jun 25 '15 at 5:38
  • So should I say" stop rough housing!"? – Soudabeh Jun 25 '15 at 5:45

1.) My parents were always yelling at my little brothers, "Hey kids! Stop that roughhousing!" Other colorful words usually accompanied these demands, but I'm saving those for another OP.

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roughhouse verb: gerund or present participle: roughhousing: act in a boisterous, violent manner. "in front of the stage hundreds of teens and young adults roughhouse, flinging themselves into each other"


PS - In more or less the same vein there is, "grab-assing"; i.e., The boss was furious because his employees were always grab-assing instead of working.

2.) The crowd of people in the second picture are "jostling" for with each other to get into a better position to receive whatever those goodies are that are being handed-out to the crowd.

jostle verb: gerund or present participle: jostling: to push, elbow, or bump against (someone) roughly, typically in a crowd. "passengers arriving and departing, jostling one another"; "jostled by the crowd"

synonyms: bump into/against, knock into/against, bang into, collide with, plow into, jolt;

• struggle, vie, jockey, scramble, crowd one another. "media empires jostle to catch the eye of Asian readers and viewers"

• struggle or compete forcefully for. "a jumble of images jostled for attention"

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  • @Soudabeh - my pleasure. The phrase brought back pleasant memories I hadn't had in years. – user98990 Jun 25 '15 at 6:01


  • Struggle or compete with others for something in an eager or uncontrolled and undignified way.

  • Perform (an action) or achieve (a result) hurriedly, clumsily, or with difficulty.


Rough or rowdy play that can often result in unintentional physical harm.

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  • @ Soudabeh: There is nothing better than 'roughhousing', in my opinion. 'Horseplaying' is just a synonym. 'Scrambling' was meant for the second picture. – Aishwarya A R Jun 25 '15 at 7:58
  • I had commented, earlier - since deleted - that "horseplay" was superior to "scrambling" and up-voted, but I had rushed and didn't actually understand the import of the OP's second pic & request. I'm sorry, both of your submissions are spot-on. :-) – user98990 Jun 25 '15 at 17:05

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