1. CallMeSarah

    CallMeSarah Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Canada

    How to write the sound calves make?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by CallMeSarah, Apr 1, 2018.

    In a novel I'm writing at the moment, I have to write a young calf's bawl. Now, I'm experienced with cattle in real life and have heard this sound many a time, but I just can't figure out how I'd write it. It's kind of a low, deep-throated, lowing sound...

    Any help/suggestions are more than welcome!

    TIA
     
  2. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,033
    Likes Received:
    2,101
    Bleating. I know it's usually denoting a sheep, but check out the definition.

    bleat
    blēt/
    verb
    1. (of a sheep, goat, or calf) make a characteristic wavering cry.
     
    Mark Burton likes this.
  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    19,149
    Likes Received:
    22,166
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    You could say 'high pitched moo' since its higher pitched than an adult cow, or "warbling moo" or "it sounded like an elephant being swung round by its trunk" (I live on a dairy farm)
     
    Mark Burton likes this.
  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    10,835
    Likes Received:
    11,663
    From what POV are you writing? Does your POV character find the sound foreign and offputting or familiar and comforting?
     
  5. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    6,800
    Likes Received:
    10,125
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    'Naaah, naaah,' said the calf.

    'What's she say, child?'

    'Naaahmee, naaahmee,' the calf repeated, hungry or desirous of bovine refreshment.

    'I waannnt ny naummeee...'

    'Give the foul creature a handful of straw, should cease her bleatings. Otherwise, ring the vet and exchange her for a quiet one.'
     
  6. CallMeSarah

    CallMeSarah Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Canada
    My character is a city girl through and through and finds it offputting. To the other posters; first, thank you for your responses. What I meant though, was not how to describe it but how to write it in dialogue. So "Mrrrr" or something (that's the closest thing to the real sound I could think of).
     
  7. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    6,800
    Likes Received:
    10,125
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    No, that is a billygoat.
     
  8. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    10,835
    Likes Received:
    11,663
    I feel like there's definitely a vowel sound toward the end of it. The Mrrrrr makes me think of a purr, not the sound of a calf. Honestly, I don't think mooo-ooo-ooo is too far off. Maybe mououou or something, but... what's the dialogue? You couldn't just say she made the sound of a calf?
     
  9. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    6,800
    Likes Received:
    10,125
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    ‘Moo moo...moo, moo, moo moo...’
     
    DeeDee, Cave Troll and David Lee like this.
  10. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    17,871
    Likes Received:
    26,996
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    "Meer, meer." No, no, that is the sound my elderly cat makes.
    Don't understand her fascination with the Mir Space Station. o_O

    Go with bleating, or high pitched mooing.
    Maybe it sounds like an adult cow on helium?
     
    CallMeSarah likes this.
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    19,149
    Likes Received:
    22,166
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    writing sounds is a bit comic like - just describe it, especially if she finds it worrying as you can describe the emotion at the same time. "Sue awoke, what was that sound she wondered, it sounded like an owl being put in a washing machine"
     
    CallMeSarah likes this.
  12. CallMeSarah

    CallMeSarah Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Canada
    Lol, the last one is possible.
    It might help y'all understand what I mean if you go on Youtube and look up how young calves sound...
     
    Cave Troll likes this.
  13. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    19,149
    Likes Received:
    22,166
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    I live on a dairy farm - i know how young calves sound, especially the day they are separated from their mothers - a surprised owl in a tumble drier does it perfectly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  14. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    6,800
    Likes Received:
    10,125
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I like on a dairy farm too. I fink you stoopid folk shud go back to Linkdin.
     
    Cave Troll and CallMeSarah like this.
  15. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    19,149
    Likes Received:
    22,166
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    I heard they'd taken out a restraining order to keep you away matt. I'm sure what you were doing to that cow was just an innocent misunderstanding
     
    Catrin Lewis and CallMeSarah like this.
  16. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    18,507
    Likes Received:
    7,037
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
  17. Quanta

    Quanta Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    222
    Location:
    BC
    My calf makes a kind of low, deep "merh" sound when she gets scared by something then goes off bucking around her stall.
     
    CallMeSarah likes this.
  18. CallMeSarah

    CallMeSarah Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Canada
    Exactly! I have no idea why I didn't think of writing it like that; I had "mrrr" which is kinda the same but... wrong.
     
    Quanta likes this.
  19. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    6,800
    Likes Received:
    10,125
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    My cat says hello in the morning and scratches on my nose. I got scratches on my nose all day. And he doesn't actually say proper cat things because I'm his beta-mummy. He says stuff like 'nnnh' and 'eooh' to wake me for feeding.

    So, if a calf is away from her folk she might talk also - like a dolphin - in principle.
     
    Cave Troll and CallMeSarah like this.
  20. CoyoteKing

    CoyoteKing Good Boi Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    1,446
    Location:
    Kennel
    okay, but

    How do you know how a surprised owl in a tumble drier sounds.
     
    Cave Troll and CallMeSarah like this.
  21. CallMeSarah

    CallMeSarah Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Canada
    Lol, good point!
     
  22. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    19,149
    Likes Received:
    22,166
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    you can use your imagination... I've never heard a tractor molesting a walrus either, but I still understand the description (or a particularly rough running engine)
     
    CallMeSarah likes this.
  23. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    17,871
    Likes Received:
    26,996
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    I would assume it would be similar to a cat in the drier. Thumping against the
    paddles inside the drier, with a fair amount of metal clunking sounds.
    And yes this has happened to my cat, she went a few revolutions. But my mom
    did not know the cat was in the drier at the time. And no I don't think that
    it would be a good idea to toss an owl in one either. It's an owl not a drier
    sheet, unless you think that owl poo will make your clothes smell better,
    when it shits itself after suffering blunt force trauma on top of being semi
    cooked. :)
     
    CallMeSarah likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice