What is the difference between rumble and grumble?

Have a nice day

Member
Russian
I haven't find anything definitive on the Internet about this.
If there is a slight shade of difference, in which contexts can it be seen?
And if there is none, why make a perfect synonym for a word by just adding an additional letter in the beginning?

My stomach is rumbling
My stomach is grumbling

..I've seen both.
 
  • RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Saying "my stomach is grumbling" might be humorous or ironic, but it would not be strictly correct. To rumble is to make a sound. To grumble is to complain of something or to make low sounds in the throat. Thunder rumbles, not grumbles. Good question. It has struck more than one English learner, including myself when I was a kid. :thumbsup:
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Grumble is basically the wrong word unless used in a metaphorical or figurative sense. "To grumble" means "to complain - usually by muttering in a low voice.
    You can look up "rumble" for yourself in our dictionary. :thumbsup:

    crosspost
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    And if there is none, why make a perfect synonym for a word by just adding an additional letter in the beginning?
    That is not how the words were formed - it suggests some people sitting around making up such words deliberately :eek: They just “happen”, the way we even end up with words that are spelt the same way but are pronounced differently and have different meanings (wind is a good example:)) This perspective can help learners - there is often no(t much) logic of spelling in English words so asking “Why is {...} this way in English?” is usually futile:D
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Welcome to the forum, "have a nice day"!

    And if there is none, why make a perfect synonym for a word by just adding an additional letter in the beginning?
    For eymology (how did a word originate?) I often use the website etymonline.com. For these two words it says:

    "Grumble" entered English around 1580, from either Middle French "grommeler" or Middle Dutch "grommelen".

    "Rumble" entered English in the late 1300s, probably from Middle Dutch "rommelen", Middle High German "rummeln", or Old Norse "rymja".
     
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