Rambunctious (adjective)

Rambunctious by elCarito via unsplash


  1. Marked by uncontrollable exuberance: unruly.

(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the Day, 27 September 2020)Top of Form

Use it in a sentence

Monifa was reading her paper when she was disturbed by the sound of rambunctious birds in the neighbour’s front garden. Wild tweeting, twittering, caws and squawks. She peered over her reading glasses at her husband, Richard, and frowned. 

‘He’s feeding the bloody birds again.’

He chuckled. ‘I don’t know why it upsets you so much.’

She sighed, quite cross, and threw the paper down beside her chair. ‘Because they shit all over the damn place! That’s why! And birds are known carriers of diseases. You know that they’re known as the vermin of the air. Those little grey claws, and those beady little eyes.’ She mock shivered and stuck out her tongue. ‘Urgh.’

Richard just shook his head and carried on with his book.

Monifa had been tossing up whether to say something to the neighbour. They’d never actually met. In fact, they hadn’t crossed paths once in the two years that Monifa and Richard had lived at number 42. Not even a wave from the driveway. He was a bit of a recluse and rarely left his house. Still frowning, she walked over to the window, careful to stay hidden behind the curtain.

‘Are you spying on him now?’

Monifa shushed him. ‘I just want to see what the hell he’s doing. What is he feeding them anyway?’

‘Bread, I expect! Or maybe’, he said with a mischievous wink, ‘minced schoolboy.’ He sniggered but Monifa glared at him, unimpressed and not amused.

She put her head closer to the glass, trying to look around the neighbour’s porch column. There he was. Middle-aged, with a paunch and a thick head of greying hair that fell half-way down his back. He looked solemn as he reached into a box of birdseed and pulled out handfuls of the stuff that he threw close to the ground in a sprinkler pattern. He was surrounded by the usual grey pigeons, cooing and chirping incessantly. But in between those fat little bodies, Monifa saw sparrows and starlings too. The myna birds, typically aggressive, kept swooping down in big circles, upsetting all the others. A couple of magpies stood watch, but they didn’t deign to eat with the other birds.

She drew the curtain back a little and saw her neighbour’s face more clearly. He put some seed in his hand and raised it up slowly. Soon enough, a speckled neck dove landed gently on his wrist, and started pecking gently at the seeds. She saw her neighbour slowly smile. His whole expression softened and his body relaxed. He muttered quietly to the bird who seemed to look up at him and cock his head in comprehension. Then the little bird abruptly flew away, but the neighbour looked up and smiled after it. He stayed there a little longer, and then turned and went inside as the birds finished picking the last of the seeds out of the lawn.

‘Well. Aren’t you going to go yell at him?’

Monifa sighed and spoke quietly, ‘No.’

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