What is it called when someone taps a glass with a spoon in order to seek attention at a party or at the dining table?

Thanks in advance.

  • Calling the assembly to order? – WS2 Oct 25 '15 at 9:59
  • I think it's "tapping a glass". (To "tinkle" means to pee.) – Hot Licks Oct 25 '15 at 11:29
  • Do you want the name of the action (tapping a glass)? Or do you want a word that refers to the purpose of the action (to draw people's attention)? Please specify, thanks. – chasly from UK Oct 25 '15 at 11:43
  • Yes I want name of the action. – Ehaan Oct 25 '15 at 12:09
  • @HotLicks That's British informal. 'Make or cause to make a light, clear ringing sound' – Wottensprels Oct 25 '15 at 14:30

A single word for making a sound by gently hitting a metal object against a glass one could be clink:

If two glass or metal objects clink, or if you clink them, they make a short ringing sound when they are hit together: Spoons clinked against the crockery.


Here's a real-world usage example from a book called "Mama's Little Book of Tricks":

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If a phrase is OK, you already mentioned it: it's tapping a spoon/fork/etc. against the glass.


Consider, tinkling a glass.


: to give forth and make a succession of short, ringing sounds, as a small bell

: to make known, call attention to, attract or summon by tinkling Random House

: make or cause to make a light, clear ringing sound: [no object]: cool water tinkled in the stone fountains; [with object]: the maid tinkled a bell Oxford Dictionaries

: to make or emit a tinkle or a sound suggestive of a tinkle M-W

: to make light metallic sounds, as those of a small bell: v.tr to cause to tinkle; to signal or call by tinkling. American Heritage® Dictionary

He returned to the sitting room and turned down the music, while Guy tinkled a glass to gain everyone's attention; The sound of a spoon tinkling against a glass again brought a hush to conversations.

A Year at Nethercombe Ley

Hal tinkled a glass to get everyone's attention. "I've got some hot news for you guys."

The Happy Accident

  • 1
    Cool. I had no idea that was a second meaning. Unfortunately most of us know a third meaning. If somebody "tinkled" to get a waiter's attention, I would expect the waiter to come with a mop. – Brian Hitchcock Oct 25 '15 at 10:56
  • Man, and here I always thought it meant a woman peeing. – Ricky Oct 25 '15 at 11:27
  • I considered tinkle myself, but yeah, it has strong connotations of peeing in informal speech. – A.P. Oct 25 '15 at 11:43
  • @A.P. Sure, in informal speech... – Elian Oct 25 '15 at 11:56

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