springy (adj): returning quickly to the original shape after being pushed, pulled, stretched, etc.

We walked across the springy grass.

A boy bends his knees a bit and then straighten his knees out.

He does that repeatedly several times.

How do we express this movement in everyday English, for example, "he is springy for fun"?

Note: people often do like that when they play the guitar after the rhythm.

  • You can't use Springy in that context. Springy is when something is extended or compressed and returns to its original position automatically, without the need to effect that return movement. Your boy is stretching his legs, or extending them or flexing his knee joints, but they will not spring back unless he makes that action. Jun 26, 2020 at 11:39
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    If his feet leave the ground, he is jumping up and down. If they don't, you could say he is bobbing up and down. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bob Jun 26, 2020 at 12:32
  • 'A boy bends his knees a bit and then straighten his knees out. He does that repeatedly several times'...................He's doing the Hokey Cokey! Jun 26, 2020 at 12:56
  • @KateBunting, can we make it clearer that his feet are in contact with the floor at all time while he is doing it? For example, "he is bobbing himself up and down on his feet / with his feet on the floor"?
    – Tom
    Jun 26, 2020 at 16:06
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    Bobbing up and down (not bobbing yourself) doesn't imply that the feet leave the floor - that would be jumping, as I explained. Jun 27, 2020 at 8:27

1 Answer 1


He's "bobbing up and down", or "bouncing up and down" (a more energetic movement) (from comments)

You mention "when they sing" or "while playing the guitar" so perhaps it would be be better to say "swaying" or "rocking to the music". or "feeling the movement in the music". The presence of music means that the actual action is not "for fun" so we can refer to the context. Swaying side to side is an action that I'd recognise in singers (some people even recommend it, as a way to relax tension) I don't recognise the action of bobbing while singing.

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