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ljc
Mar. 2, 2010, 12:52 AM
I was reading an article in the online newsletter from The Horse (this was the nutrition one) and the first paragraph talked about horses "whickering" when they were getting excited about food being prepared.

I always thought the word was "nicker."

Have I been wrong all these years?

fordtraktor
Mar. 2, 2010, 02:15 AM
I always thought "whicker" was that soft, low whuffing sound they make, while "nicker" was a louder, clearer medium-range sound that is not quite a "whinny", which has significant reverberation and tends to be higher-pitched. Anyway, that's how I use the terms.

MistyBlue
Mar. 2, 2010, 08:36 AM
I always thought the same as Fordtraktor.
However I am convinced mine actually snicker instead of whicker or nicker. They laugh at me often...rotten horses.

Zu Zu
Mar. 2, 2010, 08:39 AM
WOW ! I tht it was "nicker" too. I am sure I have always seen it written nicker ???? Hijack --- How is famous Benjamin ???

analise
Mar. 2, 2010, 09:02 AM
I've heard both terms used and I always kind of assumed they were interchangeable.

Dispatcher
Mar. 2, 2010, 09:25 AM
In more than 50 years, I actually have never heard the term whicker applied to a sound a horse makes.

Must be one of those new made up words like Lessoning, Clinicing, and the like....

KnKShowmom
Mar. 2, 2010, 09:44 AM
Never heard of whicker -

Always used nicker or whinny depending on the tone - but we have one now that "putters" - a very low, soft, justmy2centsworth of sound - very cute!

creseida
Mar. 2, 2010, 09:47 AM
Whicker is not a made up word. It's been around for a very long time. It is a variation on nicker. In my experience, it's more of a UK/Euro phrase than US, but I've heard it here, too.

analise
Mar. 2, 2010, 09:56 AM
creseida,

I think that's where I mostly saw it was in books as a kid that I got while we were living overseas. I definitely think of it in my head as more of a British sounding thing than American.

trubandloki
Mar. 2, 2010, 09:59 AM
I always thought "whicker" was that soft, low whuffing sound they make, while "nicker" was a louder, clearer medium-range sound that is not quite a "whinny", which has significant reverberation and tends to be higher-pitched. Anyway, that's how I use the terms.

This is what I thought too.

Leather
Mar. 2, 2010, 11:14 AM
I think of a whicker as a a "whispered" nicker. :D

witherbee
Mar. 2, 2010, 11:17 AM
I've heard of whicker as well - not new to me. I've always thought of it as interchangeable with nicker and whinny.

analise
Mar. 2, 2010, 11:26 AM
Now, I definitely think a whinny is different from a nicker.

Jane Honda
Mar. 2, 2010, 11:40 AM
I think of a whicker as a a "whispered" nicker. :D

This is what I've always thought too. My horse has a smoker's whinny. She is very deep and raspy, and very much unique. I can always tell it's her when she voices her opinion.

She does 'talk' to me though. When I'm grooming her, and moving around her, she will turn her head and whicker. Like I'm her foal. The sound is very intimate, and quiet. Usually, others see just her nose moving, but I am close enough I can hear her whispers.

When I bring her grain bucket though, she does nicker. When I enter the barn and she hears me, she hollers. I don't call it a whinny, because it's so deep, but she does holler. :lol:

Rubyfree
Mar. 2, 2010, 11:43 AM
Whicker isn't new to me either, and I think of it as a distinctly different sound from a nicker. Whickering is softer, like a whisper; a nicker is conversational and a bit more awake, defined; a whinny is yelling.

Chardavej
Mar. 2, 2010, 11:53 AM
Whicker isn't new to me either, and I think of it as a distinctly different sound from a nicker. Whickering is softer, like a whisper; a nicker is conversational and a bit more awake, defined; a whinny is yelling.

Yea, whicker to me is that soft thrumming noise they make when they know their food is almost there, or just a happy sound when you come up, a nicker is a little louder and a whinny is crying out for their buddy on the other side of the pasture.

A whicker, you can barely hear it and you see their nose move with the sound. That is my favorite sound! A whicker.

LisaW-B
Mar. 2, 2010, 12:00 PM
My horse says,
"I whinny, I whicker, I nicker and neigh!
Just don't forget my bucket at the end of the day!"

Oh, and my horses also whuffle and snuffle sometimes. And shriek. And scream. And sigh. And roll their eyes at me.

Fenway Bartholomule would undoubtedly say the best ones *bray.*

Skeezix
Mar. 2, 2010, 12:04 PM
Add me to the group who thinks of the whicker as more throaty raspy version, and the nicker is a bit louder and clearer--like when I am not moving fast enough to suit them!

Bluey
Mar. 2, 2010, 12:47 PM
I like to learn new words. I had never heard whicker either.:confused:
I thought someone was making fun of us, putting nicker and whinny together.;)

I don't think our horses whicker, they are very loud when they want their breakfast.:winkgrin:
No question of it being a soft, raspy sound.:lol:

Thanks for the information.:)

ReSomething
Mar. 2, 2010, 01:05 PM
My horse says,
"I whinny, I whicker, I nicker and neigh!
Just don't forget my bucket at the end of the day!"

. . . .

That's cute!

TheJenners
Mar. 2, 2010, 01:27 PM
I think we all have our own words for the little sounds our horses make. When I hear "whicker," I hear wicker and think furniture. But I've never used nicker all that much either.

For me, I use "call" for almost everything. He was calling for his buddy, she called to her foal, etc. Unless it's super loud, in which I case I use scream: don't scream in my ear, your horse is screaming his head off at the trailer, etc.

CatOnLap
Mar. 2, 2010, 01:36 PM
They whicker and nicker and whinney and blow
They scream and they call and they neigh high and low,
They roar, grunt and bellow,
and some equids bray,
They're not even quiet when
munching their hay.

billiebob
Mar. 2, 2010, 01:38 PM
I've heard of "whickering," too. I like the poster who described it as a "whispered nicker"--just right! I don't think my horse has this in vocabulary, though. His favorite is the screeching "OMG!!!!!!" whinny.

LovelyBay
Mar. 2, 2010, 05:57 PM
I've never heard of whickering either...



But then again I've never heard my horse make any noise in six years :-(

cocarrot
Mar. 3, 2010, 10:58 AM
Nicker: "neigh or laugh"
no definition for "whicker"
whinny: "Of a horse, to neigh, esp. in a low or gentle fashion"

from the dictionary..

mvp
Mar. 3, 2010, 11:39 AM
Whicker is British. But here in the States to me it means a nicker without the effort, or the forgotten effort to add voice. You see it in the quivering nose and can hear it if you try.

In addition to the other horse sounds, mine squeals. It can be a happy squeal and sometimes an angry, surprised "WTF? As if?" expression.

jump4me
Mar. 3, 2010, 04:19 PM
I always thought "whicker" was that soft, low whuffing sound they make, while "nicker" was a louder, clearer medium-range sound that is not quite a "whinny", which has significant reverberation and tends to be higher-pitched. Anyway, that's how I use the terms.
Same. I always thought of it as, the soft, low noise like what a mare often makes to her foal as a whicker, and the louder one, like what they do at feeding time, a nicker.

LJStarkey
Mar. 3, 2010, 05:13 PM
I have heard of horses nickering, but mine never do. They just scream bloody murder if supper is late or if they see a friend across the pasture or if it looks like another horse is getting fed when they aren't or if one gets on the trailer and the other doesn't or if .....

I have heard romantic tales of this gentle, kind nickering. I have never heard it from my gentle, mostly kind until supper is late horses.

whicker
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:03 AM
I chose "whicker" as my name because of the low quiet intimate caring sound that my horses give me when they are nuzzling me or a foal. It is an "I love you, all is well, be calm" reassurance.

I have heard the term used by my grandparents and continued using it. It sounds like the sound.

I did read many horse books as a child. Maybe it was a book by Walter Farley or Margurite Henry or some British author.

Beverley
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:30 AM
In more than 50 years, I actually have never heard the term whicker applied to a sound a horse makes.



Same here. Never heard it in my homeland, Texas, or anywhere else in US, or a number of other countries for that matter, but, well, didn't have any detailed discussions on the subject in UK or Ireland, and they do have things over there like headcollars and numnahs and boots instead of trunks on their cars...

pondpony
Mar. 5, 2010, 04:55 PM
The following is from Albion's Seed, by David Hackett Fischer, copyright 1989; Oxford University Press:

"In the seventeenth century, these English regional speech ways were transplanted to various parts of British America. Linguist Hans Kurath has turned up an amusing example in the onomatopoetic folk-words that are used to describe the sounds that horses make. East Anglian and New England horses neighed, a word related to the Dutch neijen. In southwestern England and the Chesapeake Bay, a cavalier's mount was thought to whicker. Along the British borders of Cumberland and Durham, and also in the Appalachians, horses nickered. In the midlands of England and America, they were said to whinny. These regional variations have persisted into the twentieth century. Kurath observes that they might be thought of a "marker-words" or "tracers" which help us to follow the pattern of folk migration."

Cloverbarley
Mar. 5, 2010, 05:03 PM
Nicker: "neigh or laugh"
no definition for "whicker"
whinny: "Of a horse, to neigh, esp. in a low or gentle fashion"

from the dictionary..


http://www.thefreedictionary.com/whicker

"Noun 1. whicker - the characteristic sounds made by a horse "

I use both words, whicker and nicker - depends on the depth and effort of the noise.

whicker
Mar. 5, 2010, 09:03 PM
Thank you Pondpony,
I fit the regional dialect. My family came over shortly after Jamestown. I am from a cavalier family that was active in the revolutionary war and wrote the Virginia Resolves that became the Bill of Rights. I think my love of fine horses is genetic. :lol:

I loved listening to my grandfather's idiomatic language. It was so colorful and descriptive. When I met my current husband, I hear him use some of the same idioms; he was from west Texas. We learned that his family had come to Maryland some time after mine came to Virginia. At that time the plantations were on both sides of the Potomac and the Cheasapeake Bay. His family had migrated through Virginia on their slow way west. The idioms were carried with them. By the way, he is very gallant and a knight in shining armor!:D

scribbles
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:38 PM
so what is it called when my horse goes "hu hu hu hu hu" at me? (long u not short u-- does not sound like who)
:D
cause that is my favorite noise for sure... its very "im so happy to be with my best friend in the whole world"

nightsong
Mar. 6, 2010, 05:54 AM
According to a book I read recently, they "snicker".

whicker
Mar. 6, 2010, 10:22 AM
"snortk"
sound of morning coffee on keyboard

whicker
Mar. 6, 2010, 10:25 PM
sent pm

ljc
Mar. 7, 2010, 01:45 AM
As always, COTHer's rock. Thank you for all your answers to my question!

Now if I could only post questions about how to solve non-horse related problems in my life ... I'm sure you all would have everything figured out in a heartbeat.