burble noisily

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin
Hello, everyone:

Blaze of Lightning, Roar of Thunder by Helen Rosburg (Google Book)
The nearby stream, an offshoot of the Bighorn River, burbled noisily. When she heard a distant howling, Blaze wondered idly if it was a coyote or a wolf.

I think "burble" means a gentle sound, is it contradictory to use "burble" and "noisily" together? Is it better to say "the stream babbled noisily" ?

Thank you.
  • Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I cannot imagine any difference in sound between "babbling noisily" and "burbling noisily." I don't think there's really any difference between a "babbling" stream and a "burbling" stream. They both have enough volume of water to be audible, but not so much as to "rush" or "roar."

    Beyond this, "noisily" doesn't need to be an objective measure. Noisy doesn't necessarily mean a sound above 70 decibels. It may just mean a sound that is louder than typical. I can type on my keyboard "noisily" but it will still probably be quieter than a normal speaking voice. Thus, a "noisy burbling" could be a sound that's still quiet soft, but louder than some other "burbling."


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    She's camping in the wilderness, and trying to sleep. I can well imagine that a burbling stream would still seem noisy then.
    < Previous | Next >