I don't understand what do 'snapped forward' 'bounded off' mean in context?

The breath whistled out of Jock Danby's throat, and he stopped in mid-charge as though hit in the chest with a double charge of buck-shot. His head and arms snapped forward, nerveless as a straw-man, and he flew backwards, crashing into the unbaked brick wall of the hut and beginning to slide down onto his knees. Zouga bounded off the tabletop. His left arm was numb to the fingertips from the unexpected blow, but he was light on his feet as a dancer, and the quick rush of cold anger armed and strengthened him.

I can not understand exactly what it means. I feel difficulty with these verbs with propositions like 'bind off' and 'snap forward'. Could you explain they meanings in context and other examples?


3 Answers 3


Both of these may be found in the dictionary:

snap (v): 1.2 [with complement or adverbial] Move or alter with a brisk movement and typically a sharp sound.

bound (v): 1.1 (of an object) rebound from a surface.

So "to snap forward" means to move sharply or suddenly, in the "forward" direction. If someone is struck in the chest, it's not unusual for their arms to "snap forward" as their torso moves backwards.

"Bound off" is another way to say "rebound" or "bounce" off of something. In this case Zouga struck the tabletop but bounced off with little damage from the impact.


Something hit the character and caused his arms and head to snap back.

[arms, head, legs,] + snap: an involuntary sharp movement of the head or arms etc.

Like (for the head) when you are in a car crash.

snap forward or back[ward].

bound off of table: to jump off it, to get off the table in one movement

bound out of a room: to leave a room quickly with long strides; to run out of it.


"Snap" is a sudden movement. "Forward" means that the movement was to (his) front. The implication is that the rest of him was stopped in its movement by something, but his extremities kept on going.

"Bounded" means "jumped" or "leapt". "Off" is a preposition meaning "away from on". He was on the table and he jumped so that he was no longer on it. "Bounded" has a connotation of jumping with enthusiasm (like a dog chasing something), and it sounds a bit like "bounce"; this fits with "light on his feet as a dancer".

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