Pop out vs slip out

  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I would use "slipped" in the context you give.

    In physical terms, "Slipping" tends to occur because of the force of gravity. "Popping" happens because of some internal pressure or volition.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Hmm ... I think "popped out" indicates a certain amount of levity.

    "I had sworn not to tell her that her mother was dead, but when she persistently questioned me about the tragic accident the secret just slipped out." I put it to you that "popped out" would sound frivolous.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    I agree with the nuance velisarius points out. There is a comic aspect to "popped" that is not necessarily present in "slipped."
     

    sappy16

    Member
    English - England
    I too agree with velisarius and florienia52.

    I often visualise words, both by their definition and the act of saying them (the shapes the mouth forms). This is going to sound rather strange, I fear, but 'pop' is a very round word - you make a round shape with your mouth when you say it, and it is a short, sharp sound. On the other hand, 'slip' makes me think of a small, narrow gap (e.g. slipping a note under the door), and an image comes to mind of words just sliding out of the side of your mouth.

    For these reasons, in addition to those given by velisarius and florentia52, I tend to think of 'slipped out' as being where, hard though you tried to stop them, the words just quietly slid out of a tiny gap at the side of your mouth. 'Popped out' brings to mind that you were slightly less careful, your mouth was wider open, and the words jumped out and announced themselves to the world!

    As I said, I fear nobody will relate to this, but what the hey!
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Hmm ... I think "popped out" indicates a certain amount of levity.

    "I had sworn not to tell her that her mother was dead, but when she persistently questioned me about the tragic accident the secret just slipped out." I put it to you that "popped out" would sound frivolous.
    Hi Velisarus
    Can you please explain "out"? What is the difference between "slip" and "slip out"?
    "When Ellen's spouse approached, she slipped out of Doug's embrace."
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Slip" can be used with an object only in certain contexts.

    She slipped a stitch in her knitting.
    She slipped the money into her pocket.
    (But "The money slipped from/out of her pocket".)

    If we want to say that she removed herself from Doug's embrace, we need to use a preposition—or two.

    She slipped from his embrace/out of his embrace.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    "Slip" can be used with an object only in certain contexts.

    She slipped a stitch in her knitting.
    She slipped the money into her pocket.
    (But "The money slipped from/out of her pocket".)

    If we want to say that she removed herself from Doug's embrace, we need to use a preposition—or two.

    She slipped from his embrace/out of his embrace.
    Thank you for the help
     
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