Thursday, February 17, 2011


Ululate \UL-yuh-layt\ or \YOOL-yuh-layt\ , intransitive verb;
1. To howl, as a dog or a wolf; to wail

Ululation dates to the 1590's and comes from Latin ululationem, the nominative of uluatio ("a howling or wailing") from the past participle stem ululare ("ululate") which is a reduplicative* imitative base. Ululate dates to the 1620's and either comes from ululation or directly from Latin ululatus, the past participle of uluare.

*Reduplication is when a word or a portion of a word is doubled to indicate some sort of emphasis or pluralization.

Anyone else think ul- sounds onomatopoeic? 

Today's word and the first definition were both taken from's 'Word of the Day' for Thursday, February 17
Etymologies come from the Oxford English Dictionary and/or

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