If someone is "rocking" his or her chair, will it be natural to use:

Hey! Stop swinging on your chair!

Is the use of "swing" natural in this context? It is a normal chair.

The person leans back and moves it (chair) sideways on two legs..

  • 5
    Both verbs can refer to a "pendulum-like" motion, and both occur (here's "swinging" and here's "rocking"). With swinging, the "fulcrum" is normally above the moving object (monkey gripping an overhead branch), but with rocking it's normally below (person sitting in a rocking chair). People usually say things like Don't lean back on the chair [like that] when someone tilts a chair back so the front two legs are off the ground. May 16, 2019 at 12:31
  • 1
    Can you describe the type of chair and the movement in more detail? For example, it's a rocking chair and the person is moving back and forth... or it's a normal chair, and the person is leaning back so that the chair is on the back two legs... or it's a swivel chair, and the person is moving his upper body from left to right... or a chair on casters...
    – JavaLatte
    May 16, 2019 at 12:40
  • It is a normal chair @JavaLatte. May 16, 2019 at 14:30
  • So what do you think @FumbleFingers ? May 16, 2019 at 15:35
  • 1
    No, swinging on your chair would only make sense if the chair was a swing. Rocking is as acceptable a way to say this as tilting, or leaning back. Perhaps there is a difference here between American and British English. May 16, 2019 at 16:41

1 Answer 1


Swinging is a very unusual way to describe this, as FumbleFingers noted in comments. To strictly answer your question, no, it would not be a natural use.

However, if you are trying to emphasize a particularly exaggerated motion or energetic person, and you had the context to support it, you could use swinging in a figurative way as an exaggeration.

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