A situation may arise, for example, when parents refuse to give the child something he asks for. Then the child won't speak to parents unless they try hard to convince him. What is the English word for this behavior? In Hindi/Urdu we call it roothna.

If my question is unclear, you could watch this video and give the word for how the Grandmother is acting:

Dadi Amma Dadi Amma Maan Jao

  • The grandmother in the video is definitely sulking.
    – Marthaª
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 17:04
  • I have a feeling I could get much more of what I wanted if I just sang and danced like that... Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 1:22

4 Answers 4


Sulking, "expressing ill humor or offense by remaining sullenly silent or withdrawn" is one such word, and to some extent, pouting, "to be or pretend to be ill-tempered; sulk".

  • I was just looking some videos about pouting. It does not seem to mean that. I think sulking is a better word. Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 17:02
  • @RaoufAthar Besides the sense I mentioned, pouting has another sense, "to push out one's lips", which might be what videos are showing. Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 17:09
  • @Raouf Athar: It's true that pouting also has the sense of "pursing your lips and/or pushing them forward", which in some context is nothing to do with the meaning we're discussing here (young ladies may do it to look sexually inviting, for example). But jwpat7 is quite correct that it can be used as a synonym for "sulking" - you might justifiably prefer "sulk", but it's not true to say pouting...does not...mean that. Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 17:14
  • 5
    Just to throw my two cents in... pouting is something that children (or adults!) typically do while sulking. As a result, the word "pouting" is often used as a substitute for "sulking", even though the one behavior isn't actually the other.
    – jprete
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 19:14

If I understand you correctly, the word is "sulking". This means to refuse to speak to someone because you are unhappy with them. It is normally used when talking about children. If you say an adult is sulking, you are saying that they are not only not speaking but are acting in a childish manner.


Giving someone the silent treatment means pointedly ignoring them and refusing to speak to them; you could say that the child is giving the parents the silent treatment.

  • Well it is a kind of Silent Treatment but I am looking for the appropriate word. Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 16:56
  • 6
    "the silent treatment" makes it absolutely explicit that the child is not talking. "Sulking" covers a range of behaviours, with silence being very likely, but not for definite. A sulking person might, for example, answer questions in short sentences, in a weary or hostile tone.
    – slim
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 17:11

I'd say that the child is "sulking". There's also a much more colloquial (British/Irish?) version that I'd use, where I'd say that the child is "in a strop" or "having a strop".

There's an even more colloquial version "to get the monk on", which I remember a friend of mine from the North of England used to use. Probably not one for general usage :)

  • 1
    I think sulking is more associated with silence, but strop suggests a more vocal negative reaction - up to and including a child jumping up and down and screaming, which we would never call sulking. Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 17:08
  • @FumbleFingers That's true - a strop can include a range of behaviour up to (and possibly including) a tantrum.
    – tinyd
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 17:09

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