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Wolf-whistling or finger whistling is a type of whistling in which fingers are inserted in the mouth to produce a louder and more penetrating tone.
A wolf-whistle is a two-toned sound (like 'whip-woo') commonly made using the above technique to show high interest or approval of something or someone (originally a young girl or woman thought to be physically or sexually attractive). fingerless wolf whistle (help·info)
The wolf-whistle originates from the navy General Call made with a boatswain's pipe. The general call is made on a ship to get the attention of all hands for an announcement. Sailors in harbour would whistle the general call when seeing a pretty woman to draw fellow sailors' attention to her. It was eventually picked up by passers-by, not knowing the real meaning of the whistle, and passed on. Over time, the precise tones of the general call were flattened somewhat into the wolf whistle common today. Today, cat-calling or wolf-whistling can be considered a form of sexual harassment.
Although the "wolf-whistle" or "wolf-call" sound can be produced using a conventional whistling technique, a louder and more effective form is usually used. To produce a wolf-whistle, one or more fingers are inserted into the mouth to shape the opening, allowing a forceful stream of air to be blown through.
Generally, the more air forced through the mouth, the louder the whistle.
- "Wolf-whistling is just the start – harassment is not harmless". The Guardian. March 8, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
- "Wolf-whistling "could be made illegal" under new European convention". The Daily Telegraph. March 8, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
- "'Wolf-whistling isn't fun, it's humiliating': Hollaback! campaign aims to end street harassment". Hull Daily Mail. June 17, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
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