English Vocabulary: Animalistic Cries (Onomatopoeia)

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

What to do if someone is bugging you?


Growl «1660s, from M.E. grollen “to rumble, growl” (early 15c.), from O.Fr. grouler “to rumble,” said to be from Frankish; probably ultimately of imitative origin. Related: Growled; growling. The noun is 1727, from the verb.»

What to do if you disapprove?


hiss «late 14c. (v.); 1510s (n.); of imitative origin. Johnson wrote, “it is remarkable, that this word cannot be pronounced without making the noise which it signifies.” Related: Hissed; hissing.»

While reading about the horse that neighed, i thought of words that characterize animal's cries. Here's a list:

And what do human animals do? We brouhaha, hubbub and babble, whine!

This reminds me of H G Well's War of the Worlds, where Martians ululate!