Unusual sounds you immediately recognise

So there I was, in my favorite coffee shop this morning, and I heard it. Wha…??

Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle. I didn’t even have to look, I knew exactly what that sound was.

Empty shell casings.

A few tables away a couple of guys were chatting about and inspecting a plastic container of spent cartridges. Nothing sinister, nothing dangerous, but certainly not a sound one associates with a coffee shop.

What unusual, disassociated sounds have you instantly recognised?

A human head hitting the floor. One day a nurse passed out at the nurse’s station, going down like a tree. Thump!
Every nurse and doctor within ear shot popped out of where ever they were, knowing someone was making work.

gack gack gack
(cat upchucking)

picunurse, a similar one is a child falling, and really, really hurting itself. There’s that “thud, cough, long exhalation to the point of OMG he needs to start breathing soon, inhalation and then WAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!”. I’m childless by choice, but that gets my paternal instincts rushing out of their hiding places.

QuarkChild, absolutely. That one wakes me up from a dead sleep, especially if it’s happening under my bed on my new wood floors. But by then it’s too late anyway.

I can tell when a 5-liter Ford Mustang is driving by. Very distinctive sound that engine makes.


(winks at picunurse)

Oh, you mean one that’s still connected!

Was wondering how you knew.

QuarkChild, mine sound more like "hork hork hork’.

Sophistry and Illusion, I’m the same way about a Harley - especially an older one.

sound of a car hitting a person. Only heard that once and knew exactly what it was.

sound of a pig being slaughtered and bleeding out after the throat is cut. First time you hear it, you just know its a pig in the process of being butchered.

my mom’s keys

She has a keychain or several that make an unusual noise when they click together. My mom holds her keys in her hands most of the time (rather than her purse) so you can hear her coming a mile away. It’s not a sound that makes people go, “what IS that?” but I’ve been in places I didn’t expect to find my mother and known that she was there because I heard her keys. I can also tell, if I’m in dance class or backstage or something, if my mom is watching me because I’ll hear her keys and won’t hear her laughing.

I can also recognize the sound of toe shoes hitting against anything, whether they’re on a person or not.
I can recognize the sound of a loose tap on a tap shoe.

Thanks folks, some really cool, and errrrr…interesting stuff here.

Loose taps on tap shoes? The closest I can get to that would be loose tappets.


That’s funny, I was going to say the same thing about a Mazda RX-7 with a Wankel.

My kids could pick out the sound of my keys in a crowded shopping mall…and have done so.

The bar-code reader at Lindt (chocolatiers) used to have a sound seemingly ripped from the bridge of the *U.S.S. Enterprise * (original-series Star Trek). It was just so unexpected and funny every time I heard it… but then they changed their equipment, or software, or something, because the last time I was there the sound had changed to a more typically commercial blip sound.

I have the uncanny ability to detect the difference between “kids are asleep or occupied” silence and “kids are up to something” silence. Comes in very handy.

I can also tell which cellophane wrapper in the pantry is being broken into from across the house.


The ‘Click of Death’ in an Iomega Zip Drive.

“Hi,” (hidden meaning: yes, I’ll sleep with you if you amuse me sufficiently) vs. “Hi” (please buy me a lot of drinks and them I’ll go home with the cheap, but good-looking guy at the pool table).

One of the things that always interested me was in Stephen King’s book the Shining, one of the characters mentions he thinks mothers all have a little bit of shine, at least until their kids grow up and fend for themselves. I can certainly believe that, considering how many mothers seem to have eyes in the backs of their heads!

  • In case you haven’t read it, “shine” is a term for second sight.

Yeah I know the dreaded Click of Death on any computer part.

Also, I can hear the hum of a muted tv from a room away and it drives me bonkers.

Wood floors? Hey, those are a cinch to clean up! Next time it happens, think of me when one of our cherubs throws up a hairball on the carpet under the bed!

We have a drawer in a corner cabinet solely for the purpose of storing cat drugs. It matters not if any of our munckins are dead to the world in dreamland in the far corners of the house and we pull open that drawer. It’s squeak must only be different to feline ears than the other corner drawers because they all come a running hoping for some cat drugs.