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sibilate

to make a hissing sound

TRANSLATION

to sibilate = zischen

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“I can’t hear the word SIBILATE in my mind without thinking of animated snakes.”

Ryan McCarty - The New York Times

Did you
know?

sibilate
verb

- to pronounce or utter (words or speech) with a hissing sound

Collins Dictionary

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ORIGIN

Sibilate comes from Latin sībilātus, past participle of the verb sībilāre “to hiss, hiss in disapproval.”

English also has the noun and adjective sibilant, used in phonetics in reference to hissing sounds like s or z.

Sibilate entered English in the 17th century.


WHEN WE SIBILATE

When an audience is so angry or disapproving that they make a hissing sound, they sibilate. Little kids who are missing their front teeth often sibilate too.

You sibilate to some degree every time you pronounce the letter "s" — the hissing sound itself is called sibilance, or described as sibilant.

If someone tries to catch your attention in the library by saying, “Psst!” they sibilate. And librarians sibilate too, when angrily shushing with a loud “Shhh!”.


SYNONYMS

suggesting something like a hissing sound

bumble, burr, buzz, crackle, crepitate, crinkle, crunch, decrepitate, drone, fizz, fizzle, frizzle, fry, hiss, hum, rasp, rustle, scrunch, seethe, SIBILATE, shrill, siss, sizz, sizzle, snap pop, sparkle, spit, sputter, swish, wheeze, whir, whirr, whish, whisper, whistle, whiz, whizz, whoosh, zip, zoom


SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, have some fun with something like:

“Talking of SIBILATING reminds me of a challenge: try to hum* the tune of “Happy Birthday” whilst holding your nose - it's virtually impossible!"

*summen


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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