sough

una madre

Senior Member
Western Canada English
Hi,
Am puzzled by WordReference.com's entries for this word.
1. Is it commonly used as a synonym (and homonym) for sow?
2. The second entry indicates that it is a sound used to indicate pain,
discomfort or displeasure.

I've only ever thought of it as a soft, sighing, somewhat gentle and cheerful sound.

What do others think?
Thanks.
 
  • MrMoto

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Very strange indeed!

    1. Absolutely not. The two words are totally unrelated.
    2. This is also a little suspicious, although on the other hand I don't think of it as gentle and cheerful. I associate it with a "wind through trees" sound, which could conceivably be used to describe someone moaning with pain.

    It seems that the dictionary is just being lazy, lumping sough in with moan and groan, which is unfortunate.
     

    MichaelW

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    It can mean more generally a sigh, a whisper, a murmer, a rumour but in this sense it is archaic, I don't think anyone would use it in this way nowadays.

    And in the North od England it is a drainage channel in a mine.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Actually, I remember hearing the word in a (fairly modern) play to mean the indistinct breathing sound (and other sounds) of a live audience. It was Tad Mosel's "Impromptu".
     
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