Pakaderm Onomatopœia

Jim   Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:09 am GMT
"Woof! Woof!" says the dog or was that "Bow-wow!"?
"Rah!" says the lion and "Moo!" says the cow,
"Oink!" says the hog and so says the sow,
The duck says "quack!" and the cat says "Meow!"
But what says the elephant? Tell me now.
Jim   Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:38 am GMT
Nobody seems to have an answer. Nor have I which is why I asked in the first place. Sure, it's a silly little poem but the question it poses is quite serious. How do you mimic the sound of an elephant and how would you write it?
Guest   Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:55 am GMT
Elephants trumpet something similar to "honk!"
Brennus   Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:51 am GMT
The spelling of Pakaderm is actually 'Pachyderm ' reflecting its Greek origin.
Jim   Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:55 am GMT
Yeah, I kan't spell. In fact I don't use the word.

I'd say /r3:/ which I guess I'd spell as <rurr>.
Uriel   Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:05 am GMT
Good question, Jim! I can hear an elephant's trumpeting in my head, but I sure as hell couldn't spell it....;)

Ever heard a deer? Did you even know that they make a noise? I didn't, until I heard one at a zoo make a little "Eeeeeee" with a rattle on the end of it. Of course, bull elk will "bugle" during the rut, and that's a weird, high-pitched nasal sound, but this was a little whitetail.
Jim   Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:56 am GMT
Well, yeah, I think it's a good question. That's why I'm asking it. As I wrote: it's something along the lines of "rurr" for me but really that doesn't even work. If I just read out "rurr" without being elephantile, it doesn't sound anything like what it's meant to.
Keith   Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:40 am GMT
But then woof woof, if said without acting like a dog, doesn't sound anything like a dog. It's just generally accepted that that is what dogs 'say'. It's the same with the other animal noises.

What you need to do is go on a campaign to make everyone welcome rurr as the spelling of a noise the elephant makes.
Jim   Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:53 am GMT
Yes, I'll write to all the editors of all the English dictionaries.

In Japanese it's "pa-oo" (or something like this).
Uriel   Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:49 am GMT
Let's see, so we can divide up animal noises three ways:

There are words for the sounds they make that are actually reproductions of that sound (onomatapoeia):

Cats mew
Horses whinny or neigh
Monkeys chitter
Pigs squeal
Geese honk

There are words for sounds that have little to do with the actual sound:

Elephants trumpet
Cows low
Bulls bellow
Whales sing
Donkeys bray

And then there are words for commonly-heard animals sound that we automatically attribute to certain species, even if that's not the "official" verb for what they are doing (although sometimes we even use it as the verb):

Cow: "moo"
Dog: "woof"
Rooster: "cock-a-doodle-doo"
Cat: "meow"
Sheep: baa
Donkey "hee haw"

Some animals get to have the best of both worlds, some do not (usually the less common animals, like elephants, or the ones whose noises would be too hard to reproduce, like whales).
Presley.   Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:04 am GMT
I know that this is the English side of the forum, but here are some examples of Japanese onomotopoeia for animals:

Cats: Nyao, nyao.
Dogs: Wan, wan.
Roosters: Koke kokko-.
Sheep: Me-, me-.
Pigs: Bu bu.

And for general sounds:

Rain: Za-, za-.
Sweeping: Sassa.
Typing: Kachya, kachya.
Door slamming: Batan.
Eating (chewing): Mogu, mogu.
Splashing: Basha, basha.
Boy   Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:08 pm GMT
To Uriel

I had a cat at home before she died after spending six years. She had two particular sounds that I noticed. One was meow and the other one was "AaO". She produced "AaO" when she was waiting for her bf/husband who was normally outside of the house. He also produced the same sound for asking her to come out. What was funny about this sound was that the word "AaO" also existed in my native language Urdu that meant "come". So whenever they produced such a sound we family members felt that they were communicating in our native language. Everyone used to laugh when that happened. I wonder did you ever notice such a sound apart from the usual meow sound? It occurs only when they are in "sexual gear" and can't wait to see each other.
Uriel   Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:37 am GMT
I've heard cats growl, scream, hiss, make little wimpy rasping meows, loud strident ones, and everything in between. They definitely have different tones that convey different emotions, and individual cats make their own sounds. The sound of a female cat in heat is supposed to be pretty distinctive, but I've always spayed my cats, so I haven't really heard it much.
Iccarus   Fri Jun 08, 2007 1:44 am GMT
I found this site trying to find spellings to animal noises. When using instant messages sometimes my girlfriend an I play a game, picking random animal noises, trying to always find a different one. It's kind of wierd I'll admit but its unique to us.

Anyway after finding this forum, I actually looked up elephant noises on Google an found a few recordings. Each recording I listened to, trying to figure out how you would spell the noise, seemed to be a little different, therefore needing a different spelling. So trying to figure out a generic spelling for the elephants trumpet is rather difficult. Although, I guess, it could be said for all animal noises.

I have to give props to those that came up with the widely accepted generic spellings for animal sounds.
Guest   Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:00 am GMT
I need help now. What sound does a woman make. I can imagine it in my head from last night, but how the heck to write it down?