The other day I was texting someone and I was talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I wanted to say it's cute when she makes that [high-pitched sex sound a woman makes] sound when she's fighting. And I just couldn't find the right word to use that made sense.

It's easy to make the sound, and everyone knows what it is. Is there really not a word that accurately describes it? It's not a moan or a groan as far as I understand those words.

Here's an example: http://www.soundsnap.com/node/45537 (WARNING: these are sex sounds and NSFW. It's just audio, no pictures.)

The sound I'm referring to is the second and third one she makes (maybe just a little shorter than her examples).

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    See also: professional ladies' tennis
    – Andrew Vit
    Dec 11, 2011 at 9:57
  • @AndrewVit: Have you been watching 'Ken Park'? :)
    – Count Zero
    Dec 11, 2011 at 11:22
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    Is is shriek you're looking for? Dec 11, 2011 at 13:51
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    @Autoresponder Shriek sounds scary. Not really a good fit. Dec 11, 2011 at 17:25
  • Why looking for an unique word ? If you have had a sufficient number of partners, you should know that some just sigh, others yell, with all possible intermediates. Sep 30, 2013 at 8:40

6 Answers 6


This is a tricky one to come up with one apt word without getting into various connotations:

  • A moan is a low sound, generally.
  • A whimper sounds plaintive or submissive.
  • A grunt or a groan doesn't sound ladylike.
  • A squeal sounds too drawn out.

I would be surprised if there's actually a definitive word for it. To describe the sound in that context, I might say squeak, which is a sort of cute sound.

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    A moan is a low sound if there's no sexual context, but in the context of sex, I've always heard the noise the OP linked to called a moan. However, that might make it confusing to use the word moan when describing the Buffy example. I've also (relatively commonly) heard such sounds called sex noises (not sounds), which might actually be your best bet here: "It's cute when she makes sex noises while she's fighting."
    – alcas
    Dec 11, 2011 at 17:01
  • I like whimper and I hadn't thought of that. It's not an exact fit, but pretty close. Maybe "short whimper sound" or "high whimper sound" works best in the Buffy example. I found this example of whimper on that same site: soundsnap.com/node/110906. I'm surprised there isn't a more universally understood word for such a common sound. Dec 11, 2011 at 17:46
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    This is the way the sex ends: This is the way the sex ends: This is the way the sex ends: Not with a bang, but a whimper.
    – MT_Head
    Sep 29, 2013 at 20:01

Thrifty Shades of Grey by Mari-Lou A #1

  • First, she emitted squeals of delight.
  • Then, lustily, she moaned her "oohs" and "ahhs".
  • Finally, she heaved an ecstatic "sigh".

(I know, it doesn't answer the question. But I just couldn't resist myself!)

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    Thrifty Shades of Grey is the wholesale version?
    – mgb
    Oct 5, 2013 at 23:58

The word I would use to describe such a sound is orgasmic. Women sometimes make such sounds in "unusual" places, such as dance floors. Or in Buffy's case, while fighting.


Typically, I've heard these referred to as moans of pleasure, but it seems we're in search of a single word here.

Perhaps the most accurate word would be a cry, as grunts/groans/moans are generally more low-pitched and protracted than the sound in question. Cry also has the benefit of covering many different varieties of such utterances.

Though not typically used in this context, a think the noun crow would also be applicable. (One definition for crow is "an inarticulate cry of pleasure".)

Ultimately, however, the word depends on the woman. In my experience, some tend to yelp ("a quick, sharp, shrill cry, as a dog or fox"), others squawk ("a loud, harsh cry, as a duck or other fowl when frightened"), and still others whoop ("a loud cry or shout in expressing enthusiasm, excitement").

  • Yelp is one I considered, it just sounds more dog like. Dec 11, 2011 at 17:27
  • I've heard "cries out" used to describe sex, but not really to make a sound. That would be more for saying something during sex. Dec 11, 2011 at 17:41

I prefer the word scream to other words that apply far more commonly to unsexual yelps of a feline or a hircine nature.

What's more it makes for a stiff luscious cocktail: screaming orgasm


As @AndrewVit put it, the connotation can be rather different. Here are some synonyms from the 'Concise Oxford Thesaurus', not sure which one you might actually use...

squeak - peep, cheep, pipe, piping, squeal, tweet, yelp, whimper

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    I don't think women tweet while they're in bed...
    – user11550
    Dec 11, 2011 at 16:43
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    Squeal and whimper are pretty good. Squeal seems pig-like to me, though. Dec 11, 2011 at 17:29
  • @Mahnax: I agree. :) I listed all the synonyms from the dictionary under squeak.
    – Count Zero
    Dec 11, 2011 at 21:16
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    @Mahnax Depends if she brings her mobile phone along.
    – Kaz Dragon
    Dec 17, 2012 at 7:50

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