1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Word to describe movement

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Steerpike, Apr 16, 2016.

    Specifically, a serpentine movement. Undulate is the best word, but this is for younger kids and I'm not sure I want to use it in the opening sentence. I don't like the synonyms I've been able to find. Suggestions?
     
  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    and slither isn't on the table?
     
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Writhe? Crawl? Slide? Snake? If it's not an actual snake then saying it "snaked it's way along" would be quite effective.
     
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  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It's not a snake. It is segmented and the segments are able to move vertically with respect to one another, so that it describes a wave-like path. Undulates seems to fit that pretty well. The other snaky terms don't.
     
  5. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    wriggle
     
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  6. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    Wind, weave, slink, clickity-clack, skitter, inch

    it rolled across the floor like swells across the ocean

    ETA:

    Arch.

    It arched its way across the floor in little waves.

    Lurch
     
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    So say snaked.
     
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  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Weave might work. Arched, as well. Wriggle would be OK but this is a large structure so it seems out of place. Thanks for putting these words out there. This is helpful.
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    :superthink: yeah, you know, that might work too!
     
  10. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    meander
     
  11. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    "wove" might apply to a larger object such as a car wove its way along
     
  12. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    What? I'm not sure that works.
     
  13. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    The problem if its an object that moves toward anything or if its just a bunch of parts sitting vertically on top of each other and moving around. Slither is best if it moves like a snake, wave is good if it doesn't move beyond waving around.

    I'm not sure snaked works... oh wait, they are synonyms.
     
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  14. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Just in case you haven't already settled...

    Oscillate
    (waveform generators are called oscillators)? Or maybe fluctuate (perhaps connotes less repeatability/predictability) or vacillate (has other connotations around indecisiveness)? Or if you're after an adjective: sinuous (alludes to a sine wave, which may fit your description)?

    I'm a little confused as to whether you're wanting to describe the overall movement of the structure or that of its individual segments. I think the 'sciencey' words work better for the latter, but could form part of a compound description (e.g. sinuous oscillation). Or you could adjectivise them and attach to a more general word (e.g. fluctuant motion).

    If the overall structure is linear, I'll second those that proposed weave (e.g. running alternating sides through a line of poles, which would resemble the waveform you've mentioned), wind (e.g. a sidewinder is a type of snake renowned for this kind of motion), or just snake itself. Pulse/pulsatile might work in the right context.

    I like serpentine as an adjective (as used in your first post). Applied to motion, it's quite evocative. In testing horses for some neurological problems, they're made to walk in straight-but-undulating lines, and these exercises are actually called 'serpentines' (where I am at least!).

    Failing all this, maybe the eels in your hovercraft have some ideas!
     
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  15. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    'rippled' ?
     
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  16. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    I feel a sinuous oscillation rippling through the force as I meander through this thread. :)
     
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  17. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oscar do you ever sleep?
     
  18. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    It's the holidays for me right now. So I'll get plenty of sleep anyway. I can get up at 11:00 if needs be.
     
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