The dictionary of sounds

A collection of local dialect, obscure and forgotten sound-related words painstakingly nicked from Webster's Dictionary of 1913, Chambers's 20th Century Dictionary of 1908, and Wright's English Dialect Dictionary of 1898.

Abatvoix. The sounding-board over a pulpit or rostrum.

Actinophone. An apparatus for the production of sound by the action of the actinic, or ultraviolet, rays.

Aich. An echo. (Scot.)

Amphoric. Produced by, or indicating, a cavity in the lungs, not filled, and giving a sound like that produced by blowing into an empty decanter; as, amphoric respiration or resonance.

Anacamptics. The science of reflected sounds.

Argute. Shrill in sound.

Armisonant, armisonous. Rustling with weapons; resounding with arms.

Antiguggler. A crooked tube of metal, to be introduced into the neck of a bottle for drawing out the liquid without disturbing the sediment or causing a gurgling noise.

Audiphone. An instrument which, placed against the teeth, conveys sound to the auditory nerve and enables the deaf to hear more or less distinctly; a dentiphone.

Auscultation. An examination by listening either directly with the ear (immediate auscultation) applied to parts of the body, as the abdomen; or with the stethoscope (mediate auscultation), in order to distinguish sounds recognized as a sign of health or of disease.

Autophony. An auscultatory process, which consists in noting the tone of the observer's own voice, while he speaks, holding his head close to the patient's chest.

Babble. The noise made by hounds when they give tongue before being sure of the scent. (N. Eng.)

Baff. A suppressed bark of a dog. (Yorks.)

Balk. Loose ground that sounds hollow when struck. (Corn.)

Barker. Slang. A pistol; firearm.

Barst. A loud noise. (Ches.)

Beal. To bellow or roar as cattle; to shout. (N. Eng.)

Belder. Of persons, esp. children: to cry noisily, roar; to shout. (N. Eng.)

Bell hour. Meal-time in a factory.

Belownder. The noise of a heavy fall. (Shrop.)

Binner. A quick movement accompanied by much noise; a sounding blow. (Scot. & Irel.)

Birr. To make, or move with, a whirring noise, as of wheels in motion.

Blat. To cry, as a calf or sheep; to bleat; to make a senseless noise; to talk inconsiderately.

Bleating. The noise made by the wings of the snipe. (Hamp.)

Blether-baise. A musical instrument, the strings of which are stretched across a bladder, which serves as a sounding-board. (N. Eng.)

Blodder. Of liquor: to flow with a gurgling sound out of a vessel with a narrow aperture; also to cry immoderately. (Westmor.)

Blore. The act of blowing; a roaring wind; a blast.

Blout. A sudden eruption of a liquid substance, accompanied with noise. (Scot.)

Bolch. The sound caused by a heavy fall. (Mids. & N. Eng.)

Bolder. A loud, resonant noise or report. (Cumb. & Yorks.)

Bom. A large American serpent, so called from the sound it makes.

Bomb. A great noise; a hollow sound. "A pillar of iron . . . which if you had struck, would make . . . a great bomb in the chamber beneath." Bacon.

Bombilate. To hum; to buzz.

Bombilation. A humming sound; a booming. "To . . . silence the bombilation of guns." Sir T. Browne.

Booff. To strike, esp. with the hand, so as to cause a hollow sound. (Scot.)

Boomer. The North American mountain beaver, Aplodontia rufa, so named because it is said to make a booming noise.

Bop. To throw anything down with a resounding noise. (Kent)

Borborygmus. A rumbling or gurgling noise produced by wind in the bowels.

Bounce. An explosion, or the noise of one.

Bouk. In mining, a report made by the cracking of the strata owing to the extraction of coal beneath; also the noise made by the escape of gas under pressure. (Dur. & Northumb.)

Brabblement. The noise of people quarrelling. (N. Eng.)

Bragging. The sound made by the grouse or moorcock. (Yorks.)

Brattle. A loud clattering noise. (Scot. & N. Eng.)

Brawl. To make a loud confused noise, as the water of a rapid stream running over stones. "Where the brook brawls along the painful road." Wordsworth.

Brimtud. The sound of waves crashing on a shore. (Ork.)

Bronchophony. A modification of the voice sounds, by which they are intensified and heightened in pitch; observed in auscultation of the chest in certain cases of intro-thoracic disease.

Bruit. An abnormal sound of several kinds, heard on auscultation.

Bubbler. A fish of the Ohio river; so called from the noise it makes.

Buccinal. Shaped or sounding like a trumpet; trumpetlike.

Buck. The sound made by a stone falling into water. (Scot. & Ork.)

Buffet. To deaden the sound of bells by muffling the clapper.

Bule. To weep with continuous noise; to drawl in singing. (Scot.)

Bull-roarer. A contrivance consisting of a slat of wood tied to the end of a thong or string, with which the slat is whirled so as to cause an intermittent roaring noise. It is used as a toy, and among some races in certain religious rites.

Bummer. A bumble-bee, bluebottle fly, or any humming insect; a child's toy made with a piece of twine and small circular disc, usually of tin, which makes a humming noise. (Scot. & Prov. Eng.)

Bump. The noise made by the bittern.

Bung. To emit a buzzing or twanging sound as of something thrown through the air.

Cacchination. Loud laughter.

Caim. To make loud noises in derision. (Staf. & Shrop.)

Callithump. A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises. (U.S.)

Caprouse. A great noise, uproar. (Corn.)

Cataphonics. That part of acoustics which treats of reflected sounds or echoes.

Cawk. To cry out, make a noise like a hen when disturbed on her nest. (Wilts.)

Chang. A loud, confused noise, uproar; the cry of a pack of hounds. (Scot. & N. Eng.)

Channer. The suppressed noise between a bark and a whine which a dog makes when watching for a rat. (Lincs.)

Charivari. A mock serenade of discordant noises, made with kettles, tin horns, etc., designed to annoy and insult.

Chark. To make a grating noise as the teeth do in biting any gritty substance; to make a grinding, grunting noise. (Scot.)

Charm. A confused, murmuring noise; the sound of many voices all talking noisily. (Mids. & S. Eng.)

Chatter. The peculiar noise made by the hen before she sits. (Northants.)

Cheeper. The plant bog iris, Iris pseudacorus; so called because children make a shrill noise with its leaves. (N. Eng.)

Cheet. To creak, make a slight noise; to squeak, call out. (Yorks.)

Chelp. To produce a chirping or squeaking sound, as of a bird; to yelp; of children: to chatter. (Mids. & N. Eng.)

Childcrowing. The crowing noise made by children affected with spasm of the laryngeal muscles; false croup.

Chin music. The noise made by children crying; too much talk, chattering, scolding; impertinence. (Prov. Eng.)

Chirl. To emit a low sound; to warble. (Scot.)

Chirr. To chirp, as is done by the cricket or grasshopper.

Chowter. To grumble, growl. (Dev.)

Chuckle. To scold, brawl, make a noise; to rattle. (Mids. & N. Eng.)

Churme, chirm. Clamour, or confused noise; buzzing. "The churme of a thousand taunts and reproaches." Bacon.

Churr. The call of the nightjar or missel-thrush, a whirring sound; a low, deep noise as of the subdued growling of a dog. (N. Eng.)

Claag. A clamorous sound of many birds or voices. (Shet.)

Clack. The noise made by a hen, goose, etc; noisy talk, chatter; noise. (Prov. Eng.)

Clack dish. A wooden dish carried by beggars, having a movable cover which they clacked to attract attention.

Clack valve. A valve; esp. one hinged at one edge, which, when raised from its seat, falls with a clacking sound.

Clacker. A wooden rattle used to frighten away birds. (Prov. Eng.)

Clacket. Chatter, noise, racket. (S. & W. Eng.)

Clam. The noise produced in ringing a chime of bells at once.

Clam-shells. A wild sound supposed to be made by goblins in the air. (Scot.)

Clap-cans. A ghost or hobgoblin which makes a clanking noise as of beating on empty cans. (Yorks.)

Clarisonus. Having a clear sound.

Clary. A shrill noise, a ringing cry. (Shrop.)

Clatch. The noise caused by the collision of soft bodies; prob. of imitative origin. (Scot. & Prov. Eng.)

Clatter-bone. A bone supposed to move when one chatters or prates. "Your tongue goes like the clatter-bone of a goose's arse." Kelly, 1721.

Clatter-stoup. A chattering, noisy person; a rattle-pan. (Scot.)

Cleiro. A sharp noise; a shrill sound. (Scot.)

Click-up. A person with a short leg who makes a clicking noise in walking. (Lincs.)

Clinkstone. An igneous rock of feldspathic composition, lamellar in structure, and clinking under the hammer.

Clock. The sound made by falling, gurgling water. (Hamp.)

Cloop. The sound made when a cork is forcibly drawn from a bottle. "The cloop of a cork wrenched from a bottle." Thackeray.

Clowk. To make a gurgling noise, as a liquid when poured from a full bottle. (Scot.)

Cluck. The noise made by children when going to sleep. (Lincs.)

Clumput. To stump about noisily. (Berks.)

Clunk. The sound of a liquid coming out of a bottle when the cork has been quickly drawn. (Scot.)

Clunter. To make a noise with the feet in walking; to tread heavily. (N. Eng.)

Cocket. The noise made by a pheasant when disturbed. (Surrey)

Cockling. To make a noise in swallowing. (Northum.)

Cocky-keeko. The sound made by a cock when crowing. (Ches.)

Cog. A form of interrupted respiration, in which the interruptions are very even, three or four to each inspiration; as in cogged breath.

Commingler. A device for noiseless heating of water by steam, in a vessel filled with a porous mass, as of pebbles.

Concent. A harmony or concord of sounds; a concert of voices.

Cooey, cooee. A peculiar whistling sound made by the Australian aborigines as a call or signal.

Cook. To make the noise of the cuckoo.

Cooter. To coo, make the sound of the wood-pigeon. (Glos.)

Correnoy. A disturbance in the bowels, a rumbling noise in the stomach. (Fife)

Cosh. With a noise, crash. (Lincs.)

Cowowing. The caw or noise made by rooks. (Hamp.)

Cramp. The noise made by swine in eating. (Northants.)

Crank-bird. The lesser spotted woodpecker, from its cry resembling the creaking produced by the turning of a windlass. (Glos.)

Crap. To snap, break with a sudden sound, applied to anything brittle. (W. Eng.)

Crean. To bellow, make a noise like a bull; to bawl, shout. (N. Eng.)

Creist. To make the laboured sound in breathing caused by sitting in a constrained position. (Ork.)

Crepitate. To make a series of small, sharp, rapidly repeated explosions or sounds, as salt in fire; to crackle; to snap.

Crepitus. The noise produced by a sudden discharge of wind from the bowels.

Cribbing. A vicious habit of a horse; crib-biting. The horse lays hold of the crib or manger with his teeth and draws air into the stomach with a grunting sound.

Crink-to-crank. A rattling sound in which a metallic ring predominates. (Hamp. & Som.)

Croaker. A small American fish, Micropogon undulatus, of the Atlantic coast. When caught these fishes make a croaking sound; whence the name, which is often corrupted into crocus.

Croakum-shire. A name given to Northumberland and Newcastle, from the croaking pronunciation of the inhabitants. (N. Eng.)

Cronk. To croak, make the harsh note of a raven or frog; to grumble. (N. & W. Eng.)

Crooner. The grey gurnard, Trigla gurnardus; so called from its noise. (Scot.)

Croosle. To make a low whimpering noise, like an infant just waking; to cry, whine. (Dev.)

Crose. To whine in sympathy with any person in pain or distress; to speak in a whining, flattering tone of voice. (Scot.)

Croup. To croak, make the harsh noise of raven, frog, etc; to speak hoarsely. (Mids. & N. Eng.)

Cruckle. To make a crackling noise, as in the noise of the ends of a broken bone rubbing together. (Suff.)

Cry. The louder sound made by the Dartmoor rivers at certain times, said to betoken bad weather. (Dev.)

Cur-doo. The cooing sounds that doves make. (Scot.)

Curmurring. A rumbling sound, esp. that made in the bowels by flatulence.

Cymbal. The hurdy-gurdy. (Lond.)