waved, ululated and punched the air with their fists, not bothered if
those inside the motorcade were responding or even paying attention to
the excitement outside." (Africa News, November 2004)
Did you know?
"When other birds are still, the screech owls take up the strain, like
mourning women their ancient u-lu-lu." When Henry David Thoreau used
"u-lu-lu" to imitate the cry of screech owls and mourning women in that
particular passage from his book Walden, he was re-enacting the
etymology of "ululate" (a word he likely knew). "Ululate" descends from
the Latin verb "ululare." That Latin root carried the same meaning as
our modern English word, and it likely originated in the echoes of the
rhythmic wailing sound associated with it. Even today, "ululate" often
refers to ritualistic or expressive wailing performed at times of
mourning or celebration or to show approval.
*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.