One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A stylized representation of the cry of the tawny owl.
cry, call, screech, tu-whit tu-whoocry, call, utter a hoot, screech, tu-whit tu-whooView synonyms
- ‘The call of the Tawny Owl is the tu-whit tu-whoo immortalised by William Shakespeare.’
- ‘Famously, the call tu-whit tu-whoo was immortalised by William Shakespeare in Act 5, Scene 2 of Love's Labour's Lost.’
- ‘In English we have the word ‘owl’ and most of us know that an owl is one of those birds that flies about at night going tu-whit tu-whoo.’
Late 16th century: imitative.
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