Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vocab Day #1

(Welcome to a new regular feature, probably monthly or twice a month, wherein I impart a new vocabulary word that I've come upon through various means.)

ululate (uhl-yuh-layt)


howl or wail as an expression of strong emotion, typically grief.

The townspeople ululated as the boys were laid out upon the ground before the barricade, weapons at their sides.


  1. At Arabic events like weddings (or even at my local bellydance shows), we ululate (also called 'zaghreet') to show support for the dancers and to get people excited about what's happening. It's a loud, fast noise that sounds almost like the Xena yell, but what we're doing is saying "la la la" as high and as fast as we can. You're also supposed to cover your mouth when you ululate -- I think the original idea was to cover your mouth to prevent evil spirits from flying into your body, but we just like to say it's so we don't spit on anyone when we're doing it. LOL.

    Anyway, the "typically grief" thing isn't something I've heard before, since we always use it for joyful events to express happiness :)

  2. A sad word, I think. But useful all the same.

  3. I love this word. I love the way it looks. I love the way it sounds. I even love its sad meaning. Good choice.


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