General Question

Jeruba's avatar

"Whooping like an Indian": what other way is there to say this?

Asked by Jeruba (53421points) January 12th, 2011

You let out a shout or cry while patting your lips with one hand, and you produce a distinctive warble that we always called “whooping like an Indian.” Is there any other expression for this sound and gesture?

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11 Answers

blueiiznh's avatar

War Whoop. Thats all i have ever heard it called

tigerlilly2's avatar

It is also known as a tremolo. There are many different types of tremolos and whoops in Native American culture. There are victory whoops and war whoops and whoops of different dances. A war whoop rises to a high falsetto yell and then abruptly drops off. A victory whoop is the same as the war whoop, only with the fingers patted over the mouth to create a tremor. In many tribes, the women’s tremolo is not as violent and they do not use the hand at all. They simply make the high pitched sound while quickly rolling their tongues against the roof of their mouths.

blueiiznh's avatar

@tigerlilly2 very informative

tigerlilly2's avatar

Thank you @blueiiznh! I try my best :)

ipso's avatar


(“battle cry” – sluagh-gairm – Hoo-Rah! – Kiai)

mammal's avatar

indian war cry?

MissA's avatar

Noun 1. war whoop – a yell intended to rally a group of soldiers in battle, battle cry, rallying cry, war cry, cry, outcry, shout, vociferation, yell, call – a loud utterance; often in protest or opposition; “the speaker was interrupted by loud cries from the rear of the audience”.

Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003–2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

funkdaddy's avatar


TexasDude's avatar

Isn’t a “Rebel Yell” or “Rebel Holler” similar?

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks for all your suggestions, folks.

“Ululation” and other generic terms for howls and wails aren’t specific enough. “Tremolo” is a good description of the sound produced but doesn’t explicitly pertain to the action of patting the lips to interrupt the sound. I was looking for a term for the action more than for the sound, one that doesn’t make reference to a specific culture. (I’m sure a lot of cultures have war whoops, but they’re probably not all like this, so “war whoop” doesn’t pin it down.)

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard, I have no idea—I’ve never heard a rebel yell.

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