Open main menu



English Wikipedia has articles on:


From clang (loud ringing sound) +‎ -er.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈklæŋ.ə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æŋə(r)


clanger (plural clangers)

  1. Something that clangs; an alarm bell (also figuratively).
    • 1972, The Saturday review, Volume 55, Part 2, page 21,
      The front and patio doors are bugged. When you open one a contact breaks and off goes the clanger.
    • 2005, Mark Latham, The Latham Diaries, unnumbered page,
      The conversation was hard-going; we didn't click at all, but then he dropped the clanger: Beazley has done a lunch with Maxine McKew and ‘It will be read as he wants to come back. Our people want to go big with it.’
    • 2007, Stephen H. Foreman, Toehold[1], page 195:
      Anyway, this clanger sounds. We put out our smokes, shoulder our packs, put on our helmets. The drill was that you turned around and handed your rifle to the guy behind you who then attached it to your pack while you attached the rifle of the guy in front of you to his pack.
  2. The clapper of a bell, anything that strikes a bell or other metal object to make a ringing sound.
    • 1994, Courtway Jones, Witch of the North[2], page 254:
      I dismounted and walked over to Pelleas. “You may remember me, my Lord,” I said. “You once made me a knife from a bell clanger. I am Morgan, Queen of Galloway.”
    • 1998, Dick Hyson, The Calling[3], page 100:
      The clanger was made out of the same material, and attached to a chain at one end. The idea was to stick the clanger in the opening of the triangle and start circulating, whacking the triangle on all three sides as fast as you could.
    • 2011, Jerry Spinelli, Milkweed, unnumbered page,
      He showed me where to pull the clanger, and I pulled and pulled and the clanging joined the music of the bombardment.
  3. (chiefly Britain, informal) A very noticeable mistake; an attention-getting faux pas.
    He dropped a real clanger when he criticized the paraplegic for not standing.
    • 1965, Anthony Howard, Richard West, The Road to Number 10, page 215,
      When a woman heckler at Rayleigh shouted, “No more clangers!” Brown proudly rejoined: “Now listen, dear. My latest clanger was to say that people should be allowed to buy houses at lower rates of interest than you can get them for at the moment. I stand by that.”
    • 1976, Musical Opinion, Volume 100, page 244,
      Furthermore if a person drops even a little clanger not only will he know but the others will know and the offender will certainly know that they know!
    • 2006, Jasper Fforde, The Fourth Bear, 2009, unnumbered page,
      ‘I say,’ he added, changing the subject completely and leaning closer, ‘sorry to hear about that Riding-Hood debacle. Don′t let it get you down, eh? We all drop a serious clanger sooner or later.’
  4. (chiefly Britain, informal) An inhabitant of Bedfordshire.
  5. (Australia, Australian rules football) A mistake made by a player; counted in the game statistics in the category "errors including frees against".
    • 2006, Jim Main, Rohan Connolly, More Than a Century of AFL Grand Finals, page 202,
      Geelong could not get their running game going and lapsed into clanger after clanger.
  6. An early hi-hat consisting of cymbals mounted on the rim of a bass drum and struck with an arm on the drum's pedal.

Usage notesEdit

  • (noticeable error): Usually appears with the verb drop.



See alsoEdit