Raspy, grunting sounds.

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lzarzalejo73

Senior Member
Spanish
I am trying to describe the sounds jackdaws make. I have been trying to find out some adjectives looking up in some dictionaries and I am not sure I have got the right ones. Could someone, please, help me with this sentence? "Jackdaws: They can be seen flying in couples in the centre of cities, filling the air with their raspy, grunting sounds." Thank you in advance.
 
  • Rhye

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Probably the word "chirping" is more accurate than "grunting". I don't know which adverb I would pair it with, though; your guess is as good as mine. They sound like dogs' squeaky toys to me :idea:.
     

    lzarzalejo73

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Thanks for your kind cooperation. I must say my guess can hardly be as qualified as yours, as I'm not a native English speaker, but I would have thought a "chirping" sound is too high-pitched for a jackdaw. I was trying to describe a low-pitched "chirping", as it were, even though "grunting" sounds are usually the ones pigs make. I guess "raspy" is OK, as I found in my dictionary the following entry: "A raspy voice sounds unpleasantly rough." Do you think I should leave it just at ""Jackdaws: They can be seen flying in couples in the centre of cities, filling the air with their raspy sounds."? Thanks in advance.
     

    Rhye

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Yes, chirping usually refers to a sound which is
    1) high pitched
    2) short
    3) sharp/harsh

    I was thinking that the addition of "raspy" or "raucous" would imply a slightly lower-than-usual pitch. I think this logic would be acceptable if I were talking with my friends about it, but I would be hesitant to pick that sort of phrasing for a scientific journal or something of similar credibility, given the reason that you pointed out.

    Probably, then, it is best to refer to them more simply as "raspy calls" or "raucous calls".
     
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