Sign up ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the apt word to be used when a snake has its head looking straight towards us and shows its tongue outside vociferously, probably when it is about to bite?

As user @J.R. suggested "mesmerizes" seems to be somewhat near. But I need something more than that, especially when like the snake is in a attempting position to bite someone.

share|improve this question
Run...........! – Edwin Ashworth Jan 21 '13 at 11:23
I think you should provide a litte more context by editing your question. For a cobra, I believe that's called a threatening position. But there are also instances in literature where a snake mesmerizes its prey, so such a snake could be undulating as well. This depends on if we are watching a snake charmer, or if we are in danger of getting bit. – J.R. Jan 21 '13 at 11:35
mesmerizes seems to be somewhat near..but i need something more than that...especially when its in a bad mood to bite someone... – Lucky Jan 21 '13 at 11:45
Possibly reared. – tylerharms Jan 21 '13 at 12:10
@Lucky: notice I said "by editing your question." A comment is not an edit; it forces everyone else to read through this discussion to get a clarification you probably should have provided in the first place. – J.R. Jan 21 '13 at 12:15

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I believe the word you're looking for is hooded.

share|improve this answer
Not all snakes are hooded, it is specific to cobras. – KeyBrd Basher Jan 22 '13 at 10:26
You're right. Though I believe the original poster has a picture in mind of a hooded snake. So it seems. – Sathyaish Jan 22 '13 at 10:36
okay that was a close one...had to see this with the picture for confirmation and that was the position of snake i had a picture of in my mind... – Lucky Jan 22 '13 at 11:22

Their is a phrase which suits the scenario: "ready to strike". The complete phrase(literary) goes like this

......coiled and ready to strike.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.