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Things I don’t understand about books. #2

Here’s the second thing authors make their characters do that makes me go, What the??

Characters who “cluck”.

Clucking? Really? I assume that’s referring to the act of putting your tongue on the roof of your mouth and then pulling it down so it makes that clucking sound. But have you EVER done that in response to something someone said?

“Mom, I want to join the circus and be a human cannonball.”



Sure, I’ve clucked my tongue to entertain myself, but never to express my disapproval or because words failed me.


15 Responses to “Things I don’t understand about books. #2”

  1. Sandy

    It seems like something an old lady would do, in disapproval. If I ever do it, smack me.


  2. Helen ()

    You are too funny! Add me to the list of non-cluckers


  3. zibilee ()

    I don’t know any real life people that do that either!


  4. raych ()

    Agreed, as far as straight-up clucking goes.

    But if it’s all, Don’t do that idiotic thing you plan on doing, she clucked, I’m kind of for it because I read ‘clucked’ as code for ‘said as though she were a disapproving hen’ and you have to admit, ‘clucked’ is much shorter and marginally less stupid-sounding.


  5. Lee

    Tsk, tsk is what I say to people who cluck.


  6. Caitlin ()

    I found equally annoying the mmphm’s that Gabaldon peppers the Outlander series with – a Scottish sound she says. I tend to have to sound this kind of thing out in my head and this one I just can’t hear – nor can I figure out why it’s so freakin’ Scottish. Weirdness and the kind of thing that takes you out of the story.


  7. Jeane

    I can imagine people making that “tsk” noise more than a cluck! Although I don’t know anyone in real life who does either.


  8. redsock

    I do it all the time. My wife hates it. Hates! I would not call it a cluck, though. It is higher-pitched, and sounds more like a kiss/peck on the cheek than a cluck.


  9. Trisha ()

    I believe I will start clucking immediately as a way to express disapproval of my students’ choices. 🙂


  10. Jenny ()

    I call it “tsk”, not “cluck”, and I do it all over the place. I have many ways of expressing disapproval, but I am quite fond of going TSK.


  11. heidenkind ()

    I’ve never heard anyone cluck in response to something. But I have listened to speakers who cluck while they’re giving speeches instead of going, “ummmm.” It’s SO distracting!


  12. Barbara

    Yes! For the about 50 some odd years I’ve been reading I always sort of wondered what a “cluck” sounded like! None of my family or friends really cluck. I always imagined it was a “tsk” when the author said……”Beatrice issued her terse statement followed by several clucks!”


  13. redsock

    Cluck sounds more like disapproving. Which is different from my tsk, which is more a sound of annoyance or frustration.


  14. Kathleen

    I hate that word cluck! I like tsk much better!


  15. Veens

    I am sure I will get a big slap from my family, if I were to do that. I think my mom was annoyed when I did that once n school, God alone knows from where I picked it up, though.


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