What was that noise?

Posted by on December 14, 2010

I’m back in quizmaster-mode again, since my last couple of forays into the field went reasonably well – see here and here. This time, it’s all about noises, though I’m back with the animal theme.

We all know the words used in English to describe the sounds made by the most common animals – woof for a dog, neigh for a horse, baaa for a sheep and so on – but what about less common animals? Or ones whose noise-making abilities we don’t discuss as often? All of these words either represent the sound the animal makes – onomatopoeia – or seek to describe it.

As always, I’ll start you off with a couple of easy ones. What do we generally call the sounds made by the following (note that the noise doesn’t necessarily have to come from the mouth, and as in the past, I’m using the most common answers, but in some cases there will be others as well):

swan                                           goose                                            rabbit                                          beetle

OK, some harder ones – what about these:

monkey                                     jay                                               tortoise                                         raven

How are you getting on – feeling confident? Last batch…

alligator                                   puffin                                         ostrich                                         nightingale

So, how do you think you did? The first ones were pretty easy:

swan                                           goose                                            rabbit                                                          beetle
honk                                            cackle                                           drum                                                        drone

The next lot were a bit more tricky:

monkey                                     jay                                               tortoise                                         raven
gibber                                       chatter                                         grunt                                             croak

And finally, the difficult ones:

alligator                                   puffin                                         ostrich                                         nightingale
bellow                                     moo                                          bleep bleep                                    pipe and warble

I think my favourite of all of them has to be the puffin – the idea of that little bird mooing entertains me no end. Interesting, also, that my favourite collective noun was a huddle of penguins. Maybe there’s a theme developing here…

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