Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A long, thin, narrow piece of wood, attached at one end to a string, by means of which it is whirled rapidly in the air, causing by its revolution a deep sullen roar: a favorite toy with children. Also called tundun.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A contrivance consisting of a slat of wood tied to the end of a thong or string, with which the slat is whirled so as to cause an intermittent roaring noise. It is used as a toy, and among some races in certain religious rites.
“Still the unconquerable superstition that now seeks to tell fortunes by the cards, and, in your time, resorted to the sorceress with her magical “bull-roarer” or turndun.”
“And in Autralian aboriginal culture, the name of the sky god is divulged in the sound of the bull-roarer, which Mickey Hart writes about in”
“The sound had the fullness of a baritone, rhythmic and slow, the noise of a bull-roarer, booming from that massive diaphragm.”
“A sound like a single bell chime followed by the growl of a bull-roarer suddenly came to our ears.”
“The "bull-roarer," known to the modern English boy, the ancient Greek, the South African, the American Indian, etc., is in actual use to-day by children, -- Mr. Lang does not seem to be aware of the fact, -- as a "wind-raiser," or "weather-maker.”
“Further, it deserves to be noted that in three languages out of the four the same word which is applied to the bull-roarer and to the monster means also a ghost or spirit of the dead, while in the fourth language (the Kai) it signifies grandfather.”
“While he is out in the bush recovering from his wounds, he must swing the bull-roarer, or a being who lives up in the sky will swoop down and carry him off.”
“It is highly significant that all these tribes of New Guinea apply the same word to the bull-roarer and to the monster, who is supposed to swallow the novices at circumcision, and whose fearful roar is represented by the hum of the harmless wooden instruments.”
“Some tribes of Northern New Guineathe Yabim, Bukaua, Kai, and Tamilike many Australian tribes, require every male member of the tribe to be circumcised before he ranks as a full-grown man; and the tribal initiation, of which circumcision is the central feature, is conceived by them, as by some Australian tribes, as a process of being swallowed and disgorged by a mythical monster, whose voice is heard in the humming sound of the bull-roarer.”
“While they are not in use, the bull-roarers are stowed away in the mens club-houses, which no woman may enter; indeed no woman or uninitiated person may set eyes on a bull-roarer under pain of death.”
Looking for tweets for bull-roarer.