The Lost Art of Whistling

The organic use of communication called the whistle has been around for a while. The original tweet probably was expressed by a caveman. He may have accidentally whistled while dashing home for supper. Later, it alerted his clan to imminent danger, meaning, “Dude! Look out for those crazed and hungry mastodons behind you!” Dinosaurs are extinct and the whistle is increasing in rarity.


When I was a kid, I heard a whistle nearly every day.

My dad loved to imitate birds, even warblers. After hearing one summon a mate from a faraway tree, he would whistle to it for kicks and giggles. It would fly closer and closer. This nasty trick worked best on cardinals. Imagine their disappointment when the poor bird discovered it was only stupid human producing the intoxicating siren call and not a voluptuous feathered friend.



We relied on the whistle’s unique intonations for communication long before the invention of cell phones or the telephone for that matter. It could mean, “Hey! I’m over here!” or the dreaded, “Honey, you are one hot smokin’ babe!” or “EVERYBODY, SHUT UP!”

Many whistle to the melody of a song stuck in their head. It used to be the only mobile way to reproduce the latest hit tune. When my children lived at home, I found myself whistling to just about anything including commercial ditties. Soon, they wore noise-cancelling headphones.


You still hear whistles at sporting events, concerts, and at graduation ceremonies. It means, “Woohoo! I am really enjoying myself!” and “You rock!”

Its imminent demise is obvious when looking up the meaning of whistleblowing. The Free Dictionary states:

Whistleblower n. One who reveals wrongdoing within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority.

Soon no one will know the difference between a “Hey! I’m right behind you!” and a cat call. Although, the latter extinction may not come soon enough.

Learning to whistle was a rite of passage along with tying shoe laces and riding a bike. It has been replaced by learning to text and tweet on a smart phone.

When children want to get their friend’s attention,  they dig their cellular out from under the juice box in their Mutant Ninja Turtle backpack and text the kid in front of them. “Dude, slow down! : P”

Summoning a teenager from their slovenly bedroom for dinner has been replaced by a text from mom or dad. No one whistles for kids out their back door since they are usually indoors playing video games.

The family dog may be the only stronghold. They seem unphased by recent technological advancements. By using any of the above techniques, not only will one find the results quite favorable, but you may also obtain a positive response from the neighbor’s dog.


Who knew a person could look badass while whistling?

The whistle is becoming a lost art. If we don’t practice, it could become an ancient artifact including the VCR, cassette tapes, and the rotary telephone.


Don’t know how to whistle? It’s never too late to learn.

  1. The most common whistle technique is to purse your lips making a little “o”, suck in your cheeks, and blow.
  2. Pressing your thumb and forefinger together and putting them in your mouth has been known to produce a piercing whistle that could leave an unsuspecting listener with hearing damage. See warnings below.
  3. There is also the two-fisted approach where the whistler takes their index fingers and hooks them into the corners of their mouth creating a wind tunnel, but operator error has been known to misfire a saliva ball.

Whistle warnings:

  • Refrain from whistling loudly in someone’s ear. It is generally not appreciated.
  • You may find yourself short of breath after whistling for a long time.
  • Whistling is not recommended when your lips are chapped or dry because, ouch!  

I beg of you, please consider this request. Set your phone down, put your lips together, and blow!

Sexiest whistleblower ever:

Can you whistle?
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71 thoughts on “The Lost Art of Whistling

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  1. Sorry you’re going to find us all over your blog, Susie. We’ve missed so much we’re trying to play catch up!! ha 😉 As for the post, what a great idea. Never thought about it, but whistling is as memorable as Christmas & Pumpkin Pie. Unfortunately I’ve never been able to whistle very good. I look as though I’m trying to imitate an aardvark!! lmao ~ My favorite whistler, is a weird choice but one that makes me think of whistling more than any. If you’ve never seen Bill Cosby Live, it’s his comedy show he did when he was younger. In the special, he does a skit on when his wife gave birth to their first baby. During it, Bill says that he was in the room with his wife & was trying to get her to focus by doing Lamas. He does this thing (whistle) but it’s like a speed induced whistle with rhythm. lmao. And there you have it. Inion N. Mathair’s favorite whistler!!! 🙂 xo ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so great! I love Bill Cosby. I’ll look it up on YouTube!
      Try making a little tunnel with your tongue. Just the right amount of engagement will help produce the sound! Tweet away!
      It’s so wonderful to see you again! 🙂


  2. This brings back good memories. I raised my kids in the woods and we had a family whistle that we all knew and used. Their step-dad was the loudest, but I could always get them in with my weaker attempt. My dad is a whistler also and maybe that’s where I caught on. I still love to whistle old songs.
    Thanks for a great post and thanks to Inion N. Mathair for sharing it on FB…I’ve been lazy with the WP reader lately.


    1. I’m so glad you stopped by! It’s so nice to meet you!
      I think WordPress has been a little quiet over the summer, but now that the kids are in school, it is perking up again.

      I love the idea of raising kids in the woods. It sounds like a great childhood for them. The whistle would come in very handy!


    1. For some reason, after writing the article, that technique works for me! It’s not very loud so I’ll stick with not putting dirty hands in my mouth, like I just did…yuck…


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