Is this onomatopoeia ok?

I could hear the tree nuts tinkling in the wind.

What other possibilities come to mind?

  • 4
    Tinkling doesn't describe any nuts I've ever heard, so maybe you need to specify what kind of nuts you mean -- and possibly provide a link to a sound clip. "Tree nuts" is not idiomatic here; nuts are commonly assumed to grow on trees, so "tree nut" would be used only if you were distinguishing these nuts from non-tree nuts, such as peanuts. Most Google hits on "tree nut" are of this sort, distinguishing peanut allergies from "tree nut" allergies. Sep 11 '15 at 14:35
  • 1
    Tinkling is reminiscent of glass, ceramic, or small metal objects. It would confuse me if I was reading it in a story. Rattling is appropriate as Brian has mentioned, but it's difficult for me to give you an answer without knowing more about what exactly you're trying to write.
    – Crazy Eyes
    Sep 11 '15 at 16:45
  • tinkling is a young child's way of saying "peeing" or urinating. When I read your statement, I immediately pictured walnuts on a tree peeing in the wind :) Sep 11 '15 at 17:41
  • Are the nuts making sound by striking each other? Sep 12 '15 at 9:42

I agree with the comment left by Crazy Eyes. When I think of tinkling, I think of small bells or wind chimes. (Have a listen to some tinkling on YouTube.)

As for nuts in a tree, I would use a similar word – clicking:

I could hear the tree nuts clicking in the wind.

You can hear various mechanical clicking sounds at this website.


Nuts usually rattle in the wind.

The natural percussion of the tree nuts blowing in the wind; if you wanted imagery.

  • 1
    @8906335678, Language is not that rigid. There are so many ways to find yourself a cute onomatopoeia. blibbity blabbity, ob la di ob la da.
    – shin
    Sep 11 '15 at 14:50

Since you are looking for something innocent, how about:

The tree nuts gently rustled as they swayed to and fro in the breeze.

though tree nut is an awkward construction.

Perhaps the tree's fruit or the nut's hanging within the tree.

But do not use: "the tree's nuts" as nuts refers to testicles very often and all innocence or anything else would be lost to a cheap gender joke.

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