the teeth-rattling whine

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
Ralph had walked much farther out the Harris Avenue Extension than usual that day, possibly because thunder-heads had blotted out the sun and a cool, if still sporadic, breeze had begun to blow. He had fallen into a kind of trance, not thinking of anything, not watching anything but the dusty toes of his sneakers, when the four forty-five United Airlines flight from Boston swooped low overhead, startling him back to where he was with the teeth-rattling whine of its jet engines.
Source: Insomnia by Stephen King

I am finding this collocation odd. When you make whining (complaining) sound, would your teeth actually rattle?

Thank you.
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    You're not making the whining sound – the jet engine is. And yes, it's enough to rattle your teeth if you're close enough to it.
    < Previous | Next >