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90s Slang You Should Know


[jang-guh l] /ˈdʒæŋ gəl/
verb (used without object), jangled, jangling.
to produce a harsh, discordant sound, as two comparatively small, thin, or hollow pieces of metal hitting together:
The charms on her bracelet jangle as she moves.
to speak angrily; wrangle.
verb (used with object), jangled, jangling.
to cause to make a harsh, discordant, usually metallic sound:
He jangled the pots and pans.
to cause to become irritated or upset:
The loud noise of the motors jangled his nerves.
a harsh or discordant sound.
an argument, dispute, or quarrel.
Origin of jangle
1250-1300; Middle English janglen < Old French jangler < Germanic; compare Middle Dutch jangelen to haggle, whine
Related forms
jangler, noun
jangly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for jangling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is drawn by a team of gaunt mules, usually six in number, with gay harness, and each animal has jangling bells around its neck.

    Things seen in Spain C. Gasquoine Hartley
  • In the midst of the Christmas-chimes breaks the jangling of fire-bells.

    Fairy Book Sophie May
  • And now the thread had snapped, and all the broken, jangling nerves of the man had been loosed and torn his control to atoms.

  • Rodney likened the jangling discords to the confusion of his own life.

    A Handful of Stars Frank W. Boreham
  • The one church bell (Baptist) and the two little fire bells were jangling merrily when they reached the street.

    Jupiter Lights Constance Fenimore Woolson
  • His nerves had ceased their jangling under the tautening of necessity.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • From within the house a cracked and jangling tinkle echoed faintly, and then quivered into silence.

    The Moon Rock Arthur J. Rees
  • His reverie was broken abruptly by the jangling supper-bell.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • The church bells have broken out, and the jangling of them drives me mad.

    Armadale Wilkie Collins
British Dictionary definitions for jangling


to sound or cause to sound discordantly, harshly, or unpleasantly: the telephone jangled
(transitive) to produce a jarring effect on: the accident jangled his nerves
an archaic word for wrangle
a harsh, unpleasant ringing noise
an argument or quarrel
Derived Forms
jangler, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French jangler, of Germanic origin; compare Middle Dutch jangelen to whine, complain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jangling



c.1300, jangeln, "to talk excessively, chatter, talk idly," from Old French jangler "to chatter, gossip, bawl, argue noisily" (12c.), perhaps from Frankish *jangelon "to jeer" or some other Germanic source (cf. Middle Dutch jangelen "to whine"). Meaning "make harsh noise" is first recorded late 15c. Related: Jangled; jangling.


late 13c., "gossip, slanderous conversation, dispute," from Old French jangle, from jangler (see jangle (v.)). Meaning "discordant sound" is from 1795.



late 13c., "gossip, slanderous conversation, dispute," from Old French jangle, from jangler (see jangle (v.)). Meaning "discordant sound" is from 1795.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for jangling


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The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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