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10 Words That Describe Animal Sounds

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10 Words That Describe Animal Sounds

There are certain animal sounds that we all immediately recognize by name, like a dog’s ‘bark’ or a cat’s ‘meow.’ Here are some lesser-known sound names.

In some cases, words that describe animal sounds are examples of onomatopoeia, words that mimic the sounds they describe. On this list, the dook is a good example.

1. Bellow

This word is used to describe the sounds made by several animals, including a bull, a deer, a moose and a rhinoceros. Here’s a red deer stag’s take on the sound from Denmark:

2. Bleat

This is the “baaaaa” sound made by a goat.

3. Bray

This is the “hee haw” sound made by a donkey.

4. Dook

I’d never heard of this one, but it’s the sound made by a ferret. It’s difficult to describe, so here’s a YouTube video so you can hear it for yourself:

5. Laugh

When you think of an animal that might laugh, you are likely to think of the hyena. The Spotted Hyena is commonly referred to as the “Laughing Hyena.” Scientists say there are about a dozen distinct vocalizations the animal can make. Here’s a sample of an exciting hyena at feeding time:

6. Lowing

This sound is one we’ve all heard, although we’ve probably called by its much less formal onomatopoeia, which is a word that mimics the sound it describes. Lowing is the official name of a cow’s “moo.” But when you’re talking about a cow, everyone will know what a moo is; if you refer to it as a low, chances are they’ll have no idea.

7. Neigh

This is the more familiar sound a horse makes and it’s also referred to as a whinney, though some suggest a whinney is actually a softer neigh. Listen here and compare it to a nicker.

8. Nicker

This is one of two horse sounds that made the list. This is the lower of the two. Listen here:

9. Trumpet

When an elephant raises his trunk and makes that loud sound, it’s called trumpeting. As big as an elephant is, wouldn’t you think they’d select a tuba to describe the sound instead of a trumpet?

10. Twitter

Long before it was one of the world’s most familiar social media networks, the twitter was used to describe the sound sparrows make.

There’s my list from the wonderful world of animals. I’m partial, of course, to the dog, though there are animals on this list I wouldn’t mind meeting in person (as long as they’re friendly).

What’s your favorite animal sound?

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