wobble/teeter/totter

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Gamen, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. Gamen Banned

    Near Buenos Aires
    Spanish Argentina
    Hola.
    No llego a entender la diferencia entre wobble, teeter y totter.
    ¿Son intercambiables?

    Ejemplo 1.
    Juan tiene poco equilibrio y recién llevaba la bandeja bamboleándola de aquí para allá.
    John has little balance and he was just taking the tray wobbling it (or tottering it or teetering it) from side to side.

    Ejemplo 2.
    El camión pisó un pozo y todos los animales que estaban atrás se empezaron a tambalear (a moverse de lado a lado).
    The truck stepped on a well and all the animals at the back began to teeter (or totter or wobble).


    Agradezco sus comentarios/observaciones.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  2. ptak30

    ptak30 Senior Member

    As I am in England I will give the usage in this country.
    We use "wobble" for uncontrolled movement from side to side. Think of a novice learning to ride a bicycle.
    We use "teeter" for a rocking motion backwards and forwards - you can think of a large loose tall rock on the edge of a cliff which is is likely to fall if someone gives it a slight shove.
    "Totter" is a manner of walking - think of a woman on really high heels who is in danger of falling over as she walks.
    All can be used figuratively or metaphorically e g the government tottered from crisis to crisis, the countries teetered on the brink of war, he was wobbling between saying yes or no.
    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  3. Bevj

    Bevj Allegra Moderata

    Girona, Spain
    English (U.K.)
    Yo entiendo que teeter y totter son verbos intransitivos.
    No puedes teeter o totter una cosa.
     
  4. Gamen Banned

    Near Buenos Aires
    Spanish Argentina
    Muchas gracias por los comentarios.

    Entonces los usos correctos serían los siguientes:
    John has little balance and he was just taking the tray wobbling it from side to side.
    The truck stepped on a well and all the animals at the back began to teeter (to totter / to wobble).

    ¿Los tres verbos tendrían más o menos el mismo significado o serían intercambiables en este contexto?
     
  5. Carly111 New Member

    Spanish- mexico
    For sure!
     
  6. Bevj

    Bevj Allegra Moderata

    Girona, Spain
    English (U.K.)
    The explanation given above by ptak30 is very accurate.
    I don't think that totter is appropriate in your second sentence. As explained, tottering is a way of walking.
    Teeter and wobble are just about possible although I would only use teeter if the animals were about to fall off the truck.
    By the way, a truck does not step on anything. :)
     
  7. Gamen Banned

    Near Buenos Aires
    Spanish Argentina
    Muchas gracias Bebj.
    Y también agradezco a Ptak por la excelente y detallada explicación. Había entrado nuevamente en duda porque en los diccionarios vi otros significados.
    De nuevo, gracias.
     

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