I ask because my word processor highlighted it as a wrong word. And I couldn't find any instances of my desired usage on Google.

Here's an example sentence:

I have migraines. I'm not talking about small throbbings, but really strong hammerings.

If the usage isn't common, what's a better word to use?

  • It's not common. Would be appropriate if, eg, you had throbbing in both knees, but less so for a headache. Similarly "hammerings".
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 17, 2015 at 13:02
  • 2
    I'm afraid I have no references, but your example sentence sounds perfectly natural to my (native British) ear.
    – AndyT
    Aug 17, 2015 at 13:08

3 Answers 3


You, as the sufferer of the migraines, get to describe them however you like.

Also, I like your sentence. It is expressive. It conveys more than the singular nouns would. It shows that you don't just get a migraine once or twice a year.


It would be more standard to say "I'm not talking about a small throbbing". This still encompasses the plural tense of the first sentence and last phrase, despite 'throbbing' being singular.

  • What about multiple, say, a throbbing in my head and my ankle? Can i pluralize them as throbbings? Aug 17, 2015 at 13:02

I concur with the above. However, throbbing can only be singular, it can't be plural, only that which throbs can be. That is, serveral seperate things may be throbbing at the same time. Your migrane, your swollen finger, etc.

You have throbbing migraines, or you don't.

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