Can you whistle? Can/could your parents?

Just curious, and this is NOT a thread about how you hate whistlers, okay?

I’m wondering if it’s at all genetic. Could either or both of your parents whistle a merry tune? Can/could your siblings? How about your kids, spouse, whatever?

For me:
I didn’t know my father, so I can’t say for sure that he could. My mother couldn’t at all. She would instead go “hoohoohoohoohoo” to some tune she liked. Weird. I think my stepfather would have considered whistling to be unmanly. Also, he pretty much disliked all music, so would not be inclined to do so.

No idea about my sister, but my brother could do that high piercing sort of whistle between his teeth that you use to call your dog. He also used it to let his kids know they were wanted at home. I’m sure none of them are permanently scarred, at least not from that.

I can whistle and stay in tune, but I’m not accomplished at it like Ron McRoby is.

I never heard my former spouse whistle; I think perhaps she thought it was un-ladylike. I don’t think I’ve ever heard my kids do it either. My present spouse often whistles to a song on the radio.

I could give Roger Whittaker a run for his money, but I’d need to work on my loon calls.

No one in my immediate family could/would whistle – I’M A FREAK OF NATURE!

I can’t whistle. My dad does. My mom could, I think, but mostly didn’t.

I love to whistle, and I do it all the time. My dad was a whistler. I don’t think I’ve ever heard my mom or sister whistle.

Same for me.

I’ve never really been able to whistle; I can make a bit of a whistle-ish sound, but it’s pretty quiet, and I’m actually better at making noise with it while inhaling than while exhaling.

My mom can whistle, though I don’t recall hearing her doing so very often. I have no idea if my father can whistle or not.

I can’t whistle. I have never heard my parents whistle. I don’t think they can.

My dad and my grandpa both whistled plenty. Not sure if I ever heard my mom whistle, though.

I didn’t learn to whistle properly until 7th grade, which incidentally is when I learned to tie my shoes correctly. I’m pretty decent at both these days.

At about age 24, I was taught by a boot camp buddy how to do the piercing “call the dog” whistle. I’ve been able to tentatively whistle melodically since I was about twelve.

My late mother-in-law was such a proficient whistler that she was offered a job by the Walt Disney Studios. Her husband forbade her from accepting it, because he didn’t want his wife working.

I didn’t know how to whistle for the first 21 years of my life, and then one day in college I experimented with different combinations of mouth structure / shape of lips / length of air column and was astounded when I heard a proper whistling sound emerge for the first time, and everything clicked from there.

The range of my notes is not terribly great though - the lowest tone I can reproduce consistently is an A2 and the highest is an A#4, and I suspect this might be a fundamental limitation of the shape of my mouth, where the air column falls apart if I go beyond that range.

My dad is a fairly good whistler, but my mom either doesn’t know how to whistle or just never does it in my presence.

My Daddy and oldest brother whistled tunes you could actually make out.

I can put 2 fingers(my ‘fangers’ not fingers of alcohol) in my mouth,
And do a really loud long whistle to call the dogs and kids up.
And that’s all.

I’m excellent at the two-fingered dog-whistle thing, but can’t regular-whistle worth a darn. As I’m adopted, I have no idea what my genetic parents were like in this area.

I wouldn’t have thought so. It’s a learned skill like many things. You just need to make the right shape with your mouth and blow. On the other hand, being able to roll your tongue is genetic and you can either do it or can’t do it.

I have not learned how to whistle. Every few years I will think about learning how to whistle, or even spend 5-10 minutes starting to learn, but then give up.
And the latest time I thought about learning to whistle was last night. It looks like within an hour or two of when this thread was started.
I think my dad could whistle, but it wasn’t frequent (or at least not around me). I don’t think my mother did, but I don’t know if she could.

I can whistle. My mom (she’d be Whistler’s Mother) I’m not sure of, as I don’t remember the topic ever coming up. My dad could whistle and often did.

This thread is a revelation to me. It never occurred to me that the ability to regular-whiste is not as common as human speech. I’ve been able to regular-whistle as long as I can remember. I don’t know if my parents could, but I assume they showed me how to when I was very young.

The two-fingered dog-whistle, on the other hand, I never got the hang of, and I was always envious of others who could as a kid.

But plucking a certain type of leaf, tearing it carefully in half along the center rib, putting it between my thumbs and blowing an ear-piercingly loud whistle? I was the champ at that. I used to like to sneak up behind other kids, give a blast and see how high I could make them jump :grin:

I remember learning to whistle when I was in 2nd grade (so 7 years old). I did it with pursed lips and initially could only do it by inhaling. Then I got the hang of also being able to do it while exhaling, which produced a stronger note.

Some time after that I got the hang of the two-fingers-in-mouth technique (thumb and another finger) to produce a loud “dog-whistle.”

My father used to whistle tunes all the time, but he used to do a kind of different whistle that involved his teeth and tongue with no pursed lips. I don’t know how he did that, and I never learned. Now he’s gone, so I can’t ask him. :frowning_face: But it’s one of the most distinctive things I remember about him.

I can do that one, also.

My parents couldn’t whistle. The old saying of “whistling girls and cackling hens come to no good ends” was strictly enforced.

When I was ten years old, I thought screw it, I’m going to whistle. And spent the next month blowing air through my mouth until I could make sound. And then learning to change the pitch. And then learning to do it both exhaling and inhaling. At my prime I could whistle any tune continuously with a wider range and more in tune than my voice. Have to be careful on inhale notes, they tend to go flat.

In my prime I played trombone and so had a huge lung capacity and pressure control. Sadly, it takes constant practice to stay in shape and I don’t got it any more. Not as loud nor as continuous as I used to be, but I can still whistle along to music in harmony.

I reckon i’m pretty good. I can whistle 4 or 5 different ways (!)
I think most of my family can, but just don’t.