I heard the sentence from someone:

When we prickle a balloon with a needle it goes bang!

Is the sentence valid?

Can I say:

It goes swish.

as well?

Thanks in advance.


1 Answer 1


"Go" can be used in the sense of "say". Although technically a balloon cannot talk or say something, we can think of this as an extended sense.

This is very common. But as Garner (2015) note, it is non-standard at best

The use of go as a synonym for say is seemingly part of every American teenager’s vocabulary (“So I go, ‘Whattaya mean?’ and he goes, ‘Whattaya mean by askin’ that?’ ”). It occurs in the past tense also: “Then he went, like, ‘No way!’” This is low-level slang. Garner (2015)

  • 1
    Wow this answer was downvoted 2 minutes after it was posted and I haven't even edited it yet. I wish the downvoter had explained why they downvoted it. I wanna know how the other answer explains it better. Feb 7, 2020 at 10:54
  • It's very common in the UK too. [@user178049 Weird! The other answer's gone now. I didn't see it.] Feb 7, 2020 at 18:04
  • We use it of animal noises too ('The cow goes moo' etc.). Feb 7, 2020 at 20:39
  • I would rather think that the sense of "go" is make noise, and the meaning "say" is an extension from the meaning "make noise".
    – James K
    Jan 2, 2022 at 7:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .