La poule cependant semblait écouter guère; elle avait fait clouc, clouc, clouc, puis elle était partie, sans entendre les derniéres paroles.

This line is from "Patachou" by Tristan Derème.

I can't unde stand the meaning of "faire clouc" Is this a dialect of Basque?

I am glad if somebody kindly teach me.

3 Answers 3


I think that in this case "clouc" just attempts to reproduce the sound that a poule makes - I know those animal sounds are entirely different in Japanese :-) I am not sure whether it is a dialect or not, I think it is just an onomatopoeia, like "tic tac" for a clock ... Another, more standard onomatopoeia in French would be "Cot-cot, Cot-cot-codêêêc".

  • 2
    Interesting remark here (at clouque).
    – None
    Jan 22, 2017 at 10:54
  • @Laure I'll change my answer slightly to reflect that it might be from the Sud-Ouest de la France. "Cot-cot, Cot-cot-codêêêc" is maybe more standard.
    – Frank
    Jan 22, 2017 at 20:15
  • @Hiroshi Thank you so much for your answer. It is so helpful for me!! Jan 22, 2017 at 22:53

In English, we say that hens cluck. It is a clucking sound.

The site below shows this means cluck.

"vu la saison il y a de fortes chances pour qu'elle couve, , si quand on le touche elle glousse de mécontentement, et gonfle les plumes, que quand elle sort elle fait "clouc clouc", c'est qu'elle couve."


La poule fait clouc. The hen clucks or is clucking.

  • Considering my user name, I should probably know this, but is "hen" one of those words (kind of like "fish," I guess) that can be pluralized without an "s"? If so, never mind, but if not, did you mean "... we say that hens cluck" in the 1st sentence?
    – Papa Poule
    Jan 22, 2017 at 22:50
  • @Hiroshi Thank you so much for your information! Jan 22, 2017 at 22:55
  • Just out of curiosity, I would be curious to hear how many native French speakers were told "clouc" for the sound of the hen when they were kids, and how many were told "Cot-cot-codêêêc".
    – Frank
    Jan 23, 2017 at 1:46
  • @Papa Poule Comme je ne suis une personne humaine, la perfection m'échappe toujours.
    – Lambie
    Jan 23, 2017 at 16:19
  • @Frank I said: in English we say that a hen clucks. And that that French site shows this means cluck. I did not say anything about dictionaries or what native French speakers say, did I? How much more careful should I be?
    – Lambie
    Jan 23, 2017 at 16:20

Clouc clouc is not known as is in French but is likely from Occitan and not Basque.

In Occitan, cloc pronounced \kluk\ = clouc is the name of the sound made by a cloca, a broody hen. This sound is transcribed as cot cot cot codet/codec in French.

Its root can also be found in Spanish where cloquear and gallina clueca are both related to a broody hen. In French, the equivalent would be cocotte.

While clouc is undoubtedly an onomatopoeia like its English counterparts "cluck" and "cackle". Clouc might also be given a Latin root: the verb glocare which gave the French glousser.

Wikipedia suggests an indo-European root, *klag, so that might be a very ancient onomatopoeia.

References: cloc cloca clueca cloquear glocare clangare

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