The cat says “MEOW”
When a cat is happy and relaxed, it makes a soft sound while breathing – this is called purring. When a cat is angry, it makes a sound like “SSSSS” – this is called hissing.
The hair on a cat’s body is called fur. The long, white hairs on a cat’s face are called whiskers.
Slang: If you describe a person as “catty,” it means they are subtly cruel and malicious.
The dog says “WOOF WOOF”
This is called barking.
When a dog is angry, it makes a sound like “GRRRRR.” This is called growling.
When a dog “sings” at the moon, making a sound like “AAAUUUUUUU” – this is called howling.
Slang: If someone is “the top dog,” it means they are the most important or powerful person in a group.
The bird says “TWEET”
Other words that describe the sound a bird makes are chirping and singing.
A bird’s house, made of small sticks, is called a nest.
A bird’s body is covered in feathers and its mouth is called a beak.
Slang: To “eat like a bird” means to eat very little food.
Learn more: English Vocabulary Words for Birds
The horse says “NEIGH”
Other words that describe the sound a horse makes are whinny and snort (when the horse is annoyed).
When a horse is walking at medium speed, it is trotting. When a horse is running faster, it is galloping. When you get up and sit on top of a horse, you mount the horse. When the horse starts walking, you are riding the horse.
Slang: To “beat a dead horse” means to waste time doing something that was already tried.
The sheep says “BAA”
This sound is called bleating.
A sheep’s body is covered in wool. The process of cutting the wool off is called shearing the sheep.
Slang: If someone is “sheepish,” they are shy or a little bit embarrassed.
The rooster says “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO”
When the rooster does this, we say it is crowing.
The male is called a rooster or cock. The female is called a hen, and the sound it makes is called clucking. When the hen produces eggs, we say she is laying eggs. When the eggs open and the baby comes out, we say the eggs hatch.
The baby is called a chick, and the sound it makes is called cheeping.
Slang: If someone is “chicken,” it means they are afraid. If a person doesn’t do something because of fear, we say they “chickened out.”