I'm writing a bit of a gorey scene, where the character in question is overcome with violent muscle spasms in his arm; his muscles flex and convulse and swell so violently that they basically tear apart his arm, into "_____"'s. I need some noun that fills the blank that is synonymous with shreds, ribbons, scraps etc, but is connotative of squishy bits, flesh, etc. Almost like a descriptor for intestines?

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    'shreds' sounds good to me. or whatever serving size beef jerky comes in. – Mitch Nov 2 '15 at 22:35
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    quivering lumps of flesh. But I think that's not possible. Did you ever try to take a strip of paper and pull from both ends and rip it into three pieces? Put as many "starter tears" in it as you like. – Jim Nov 2 '15 at 23:51
  • How about "sausage"? – Hot Licks Nov 3 '15 at 0:31
  • [tattered/torn] tendons, [loose/limp] ligaments, [snapped] sinew – Brian Hitchcock Nov 3 '15 at 7:33

Gobbet might work as an evocative alternative. ODO defines it as "A piece or lump of flesh, food, or other matter". Unfortunately, it doesn't carry the same shape connotations as shred...


This might or might not be useful to you, because it's pretty informal, but sometimes when people talk about video games, a character being damaged and exploding into lots of bloody lumps of flesh as a result is called being "gibbed". The bits themselves are called "gibs", which comes from "giblet". Giblets are the edible internal stuff that's in a fowl.

Not sure if you would want to use the word "giblets" in the context you gave, but it is a noun that makes me think of scraps of flesh.

  • Is that pronounced "jibbed"? It sounds good, but I wouldn't want to use it if people accidentally pronounce it "gibbed". That sounds a little goofy, you know? – Rob Bland Nov 3 '15 at 3:43
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    It is pronounced with a "j". I think the word "giblets" is more widely understood to be pronounced with a j sound, but "gibbed" or "gib" isn't formal so the pronunciation might not be universally understood. – Yee-Lum Nov 3 '15 at 9:24

I always like "ribbons" for such contexts, and "filets" is particularly connotative as well.


I would use "globs"


noun informal noun: glob; plural noun: globs
a lump of a semiliquid substance.
"thick globs of melted mozzarella cheese"

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