In german, it is possible to use 'yodelling (jodeln)' to describe an orator's tone when he is mocking someone in a derisive manner.

Is this possible in english, too, or are there other, more suitable terms to express this?

'Sure, who doesn't need fourhundred pairs of shoes?' he yodelled.

  • 1
    Sound of Music. Commented May 14, 2015 at 13:29
  • Chortled maybe? Commented May 14, 2015 at 20:19
  • I was going to suggest yocking but it already has another meaning. Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo!
    – ermanen
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 20:43
  • 1
    I've never heard this expression used but I really think we should start, it is just perfect Commented May 14, 2015 at 22:02

4 Answers 4


I think an English ear would interpret the yodelling literally, to comical effect.

A better translation might be something like "sneered" or "scoffed".


I've only seen "yodelling" used to refer to a specific way of singing. Words I would use are "jeered" or "scoffed". You could also say "he remarked mockingly".


If this use of "yodeling" means that the speaker's voice is varying in pitch, then a good parallel in English would be "singsong voice". A common (though considered immature) form of mocking is to repeat the target's words as if you were singing a nursery rhyme.

You could replace "yodeled" with "said in a singsong voice", or even "jeered/sneered/scoffed in a singsong voice" for extra color (as per the other suggestions).


I would understand what you mean, and I'm quite sure I've seen it in some pre-20th century English-language books. If I remember which ones, I'll post them. However, I agree with Atkins and Jorge that "jeered", "scoffed" or "sneered" would better capture your intent.

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