People, animals, and objects all make noises that do not easily fall under the heading of vocabulary, but when they are written down on the page they pose similar issues of comprehension to conventional words. Authors always have a problem representing such noises, especially if they want their versions to have some immediacy of recognition, and some of the coinages used by Shakespeare have attracted not a little discussion about their exact usage, as a consequence, and are still open to interpretation.

Noises and calls made by people

Item Location Gloss
do, de, do, de, do, de KL III.iv.56 teeth chattering
hem 2H4 II.iv.29 unclear: hiccough, clearing of the throat
illo, ho, ho, hillo, ho, ho Ham I.v.115 falconer’s cry to bring a hawk down
’loo [= halloo] TC V.vii.10 call of encouragement to a dog
rah tah tah 2H4 III.ii.274 gun drill noises
sa, sa, sa, sa KL hunting cry
sese, sessa, sesey KL ‘off you go’ in hunting, fencing
so-ho TG III.i.189 hunting cry when a hare is started
sola MV V.i.39 sound of a post horn
sola LLL IV.i.150 hunting cry
thas 2H4 III.ii.264 unintelligible military drill command

Noises made by animals

Item Location Gloss
tereu PP 20.14 nightingale in pain
tirra-lyra WT IV.iii.9 lark song
wheak Tit IV.ii.145 pig being killed

Noises made by objects

Item Location Gloss
bounce 2H4 III.ii.275 bang [of a gun]
hewgh KL sound made by an arrow through the air

Jump directly to