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What is the word for a light thud that a letter makes when dropped into a wooden mailbox?

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    What's wrong with "light thud"?
    – J.R.
    May 3, 2014 at 23:03

2 Answers 2

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I found these results after doing a Google search on "envelope landed with a":

  • thud (7)
  • soft thud (5)
  • dull thud (3)
  • thump (1)
  • soft thump (1)
  • schlap (1)
  • thwack (1)
  • clunk (1)
  • clink (1)
  • tap (1)

The ones I think are most appropriate for a wooden mailbox would be:

  • thud, thump, tap, thwack

Other candidate words might include:

  • knock, rap, tick

and here are some adjectives you might consider:

  • muffled, quiet, quick, soft, dull, muted, faint

leading to several possible combinations, such as:

  • soft tick, muffled tap, dull knock, faint thwack, quiet rap, quick thump, muted thud
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Depends, I suppose, on what the mailbox is made of, what it's attached to, and how tightly coupled the two are.

Candidates that leap to mind include:

tok
thock
thunk
chink
ktang
thwock

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  • These are not words in wide currency. I forgot to say this but it is made of wood, the mailbox.
    – user4550
    May 3, 2014 at 5:53
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    Of these "thunk" has the widest currency, though it might not be light enough for your purpose. May 3, 2014 at 7:03
  • A native speaker in this circumstance (not having exactly the right pre-existing word for a sound) will in fact invent an onomatopoeia, btw. This is one small way that English got into the general mess it's in. May 3, 2014 at 7:05
  • The onomatopoeia could be 'dub' the second sound of the heartbeat.
    – Maulik V
    May 3, 2014 at 8:21
  • @Codeswitcher How about plop? It might relate to water, but I think it could apply to the sound something light dropped on a surface as well. May 3, 2014 at 8:37

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