Jingle vs jangle

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Jingle and jangle are generally very close in meaning, but with very different connotations. A connotation is the feeling or nuance that a word evokes, beyond its literal meaning. We will examine the definitions of jingle and jangle, where the words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A jingle is a light, ringing or chiming sound made by metallic objects coming in contact with each other. In this sense, jingle may be used as a noun or a verb, related words are jingles, jingled, jingling. The word jingle is considered an onomatopoeia, which is a word formed to imitate a sound associated with the word. A jingle sound is generally considered pleasant, it is associated with things like coins in one’s pocket and sleigh bells. The word jingle is also used as a noun to mean a catchy song used to advertise a product, coming into common use in the 1930s.

A jangle is also a metallic sound made by objects coming into contact with each other, but it is considered a harsh, unpleasant noise. The word jangle is also used figuratively in the expression jangle one’s nerves, which means to set someone’s nerves on edge. Jangle originally meant to squabble or talk in an idle, nagging fashion. It may be used as a noun or a verb, related words are jangles, jangled, jangling.


On Oct. 7, police in Iowa City, Iowa responded to a noise complaint about a dude who was singing “Jingle Bells” through a bullhorn and really ticking off his neighbors. (The Kansas City Star)

“The jingle Porcelain People wrote for downtown Monroe truly depicts the district as an arts and entertainment destination,” Myra Gatling-Akers, Director of the Downtown Economic Development District, wrote in a press release Wednesday. (The Monroe News-Star)

And as Ballymena’s nerves began to jangle, a half-cleared Glentoran free kick fell to Calum Birney, who blazed a shot over the bar. (Belfast Telegraph)