I need a word or simple noun phrase that describes the sound made by a spring when it is suddenly released. Any help? The word will serve as a title for the sound below. The sound is more for social entertainment than technical considerations.

Here is the sound: http://www.permusoft.com/spring.wav

Would it make sense to simply transliterate 'boing'?

This is for an iPhone app. Here is a screenshot of the English version. In the app, if you touch the red button then the sound is played.

enter image description here

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    @DmitryAlexandrov - Make those comments an answer, why not?
    – Yellow Sky
    Jul 25, 2014 at 18:54
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    Are you joking about sound-playing screenshot or do I misunderstand something? Jul 25, 2014 at 19:56
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    Well. I’ve just played it fifty times trying to abstract away from what I know about it. And I will tell you that the sound per se is no more a sound of spring than a vibration of a string or anything else. It is most looks like варган – the primitive folk instrument which is common all over Eurasia: from Kirghiz steppes to Far North. Jul 25, 2014 at 20:27
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    No meaning. That’s the case. Pure sound imitation. Jul 25, 2014 at 20:39
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    And finally: there is nothing wrong to invent your own onomatopoeia. You said that the /bɔɪŋ/ is good approximation of your sound, am I right? Perfect, let it be боннь! Jul 25, 2014 at 21:09

5 Answers 5


Since the only thing you need is a label for that exactly record for an app, which merely play it along with other random sounds, rather than attempting to recall some Russian onomatopoeia associated with spring (which, afaik, does not exist), I’ve listened your record fifty times in a row trying to abstract away from what I knew about it from you.

And I will tell you that the sound per se is no more a sound of spring than a vibration of a string or elastic band or anything else. Actually, it is most looks like варган – the primitive folk instrument which is common all over Eurasia: from Kirghiz steppes to the Far North.

So, forget about the spring. Simple дынь or дон, which are pure sound imitation and have no any particular sense, describes that very sound quite properly. No meaning – no any possibility for misunderstanding.

And finally: there is nothing wrong to invent your own onomatopoeia. As far as I understand, you said that the /bɔɪŋ/ is good approximation of that sound. Perfect, let it be боннь.

  • @Artemix Насколько я понял, это не название приложения, это подпись к одному из многих звуков в интерфейсе этого приложения. Aug 4, 2014 at 18:53

If I'm not mistaken, I've seen the word БЗДЫНЬ used in reference to a gong, a bell and a spring in cartoons.

Let the natives confirm (I'm American :)

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    Great question by the way!
    – CocoPop
    Jul 25, 2014 at 18:21
  • Бздынь is more for for hitting something against something else. Jul 25, 2014 at 18:27
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    I'm native. I was thinking about the neutral metalic sound дзынь. However, since “boing!” has also sexual connotations (sudden erection), your variant sounds good (all words starting with бзд- are far from being neutral). So I'd say, it all depends upon where the OP wants to use the word, that is, if OP wants to speak about real solid metal springs, I'd recommend дзынь.
    – Yellow Sky
    Jul 25, 2014 at 18:40
  • @YellowSky Yes, for the example of sound, that have been appended to the question, дзынь may be the best. But it unfortunately does not have any connotation with spring. It is a very broad sound imitation, which is suitable not only for any sort of metal sound but e. g. for glass too, and for electronic bell of course. Jul 25, 2014 at 18:56
  • @DmitryAlexandrov - I see it now, I had written my comment before the sound sample was added.
    – Yellow Sky
    Jul 25, 2014 at 18:59

Got some feedback from a linguist at Stanford. She says the spring sound people would identify with is 'дрынь' (dreen') with a rolled r. What you might find in a cartoon, for example.

  • Дрынь is a typical imitation of sound of engine (especially two-stroke, i. e. motorbike). Children ride a toy bike and say дрынь-дрынь. Jul 26, 2014 at 13:08
  • Got another email from Elena from Stanford. She consulted her father who is a professional editor at the UN (Russian-English translation) and he says that these kinds of "words" do not get translated, instead you should go with a direct transliteration, which in this case would be something like бойньк. Anyway, far deeper than I imagined getting into this, given I don't speak Russian was just asked to ask my Russian speaking friends.
    – Ken Snyder
    Jul 28, 2014 at 5:24

As far as I can imagine the sound of suddenly released spring, I can recall nothing but вжик, which is also good for the sound of blade cutting the air, or flying arrow or bullet, or any other sharp high sound.

То утром, то поздним вечером ... на реке щелкала, вжи́кала пружина стартера, начинал тонко трещать мотор, и на заводь выползала лодка. [Олег Куваев. Правила бегства]

Рванул он, молния чиркнула, а из папки – вжик пружина змейкой. Выпросталась пружинка, раскачивается, трепещет, как деликатный, европейкого стандарта фаллос... [Михаил Дайнека. Пасынки Гиппократа]

If boing is low sound вжик would not fit as translation.

  • The sound from the question (spring.wav) does not sound like вжик for me. The вжик-event should me more faster! Jul 27, 2014 at 11:33
  • @lorien That answer is not related to spring.wav (which was added later), only to question of how to render sound of released spring. Of course it doesn’t do for questioner’s purpose, I said it somewhere in discussion in comments. So what? Jul 27, 2014 at 14:49

My suggestion, use the word пыщь!. LOL :D It is hard to me to explain in English what does it mean. Anyway, it is a funny choice, think of it :)

  • That how we can end up labeling every sound in the app with пыщь!. I have not heard all of them of course, but I guess, most of are пыщь! in the same degree. Jul 27, 2014 at 14:58
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    Согласно словарю Упячки с Lurkmore: "ПЫЩЬ!!!!111одинодин1 — звуковое сопровождение извержения лучей поноса". Не сильно похоже на звук пружины.
    – Artemix
    Aug 4, 2014 at 11:39

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