Onomatopoeia for howling

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New Member
Bosnia and Herzegovina, bosnian, croatian
Hello, everyone!

My question is: what written word could I use to represent dogs' or wolves' howling? For example, the voice of cat is written like "meow", but what would represent howling the best? I would write something like "a-oooooo", but I have never encountered something like that, so it looks suspicious.

I am not a native speaker of English, so I have some problems relating written words to sounds. I would appreciate any help.

Thank you in advance.
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi Lilium

    I thought this Wiki site might help, but it doesn't, although it covers a large number of animal noises.

    I don't think there is a standard way of representing a howl:(

    That said, "howl" is, of course, itself onomatopoeic...



    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Derek Abbott's Animal Noise Page has a wonderful chart of animal sounds as rendered in different languages. There, the English sound of a wolf hollowing is given as owooooo. This is somewhat like The Scrivener's version. It seems likely that an English speaker would recognize either one, or something between them.


    Senior Member
    If you want something approximating the sound the animal makes, you already have good suggestions. In addition, as Loob stated so clearly, howl itself is onomatopoetic, as is ululate.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Any of those would do nicely. You could add an extra 'o' or two to any of them, if you wish. Or delete an 'o' or two.

    In other words, there is no standard way to spell any of them.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I've no idea, I'm afraid. These 'words' are made up. They don't have standard spellings. It wouldn't surprise me if nobody had ever used them before.

    It's entirely up to you how you spell them, as long as they achieve the sound effect you are aiming for. Be creative. :)


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I think all those examples would make me halt my reading to figure out what it sounded like. On the other hand, "howl" would allow me to read on and not really cost any realism.

    In fact I think I have only ever seen "howl" and "song" to represent the sound a wolf makes.
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