I used the word "yell" in an answer on another SE exchange, trying to convey the kind of (humorous to the listeners / readers - not parents) yells parents have when their children misbehave (usually before the moral story).

enter image description here thank you Bill Watterson for describing my life

I was told that this word does not have any humorous aspect in it (with some links to online dictionnaries).

Since I am French, I tried to translate two words which have that humoours trait (in specific contexts at least): brailler et gueuler. Both usually translate to bawl or yell and none of the translations seem to fit the bill.

Is there such a word?

  • How about "bellow"?
    – Lorel C.
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 2:01

2 Answers 2


One word that might be a good fit is the verb hound (and its synonym nag might work as well.) Neither word necessarily implies loud shouting the way yell does.

Here is one definition that I think pertains to your context:

hound (trans. v.) to urge insistently; to nag: hounded me until I agreed to cut my hair.

So, if my son was not performing well in school, I might say:

I will hound you until you take school more seriously. These grades need to get better.

But there is yet another definition which happens to match your picture quite well:

hound (trans. v.) to pursue relentlessly and tenaciously

Those defintions came from Wordnik; M-W has similar definitions:

hound (verb)

1 : to pursue, as if with hounds (i.e., with hunting dogs)

2 : to drive or affect by persistent harassing : They hounded me with questions.

Although the word hound is often used negatively, it can be used in a positive sense, too, when someone is being urged do something positive with their life. For example, on a teacher review site1, one former student wrote:

Do whatever you have to do to get Ms. A. She wouldn't let me fail like all my other teachers have in the past. She hounded me about my grades and my "intellect". Now I'm going into my junior year with a high GPA and the prospect of attending a 4 year college.

  • 1
    Note: I, too, thought holler might be a good word, based on the cartoon, but then I looked up the OP's answer to get more information about the context. The answer talks about underachieving children and their schoolwork; it reads: I told them that if they constantly get above 16/20 (the scale of marks is 0-20 in France) then I will let them live their life because it is "good enough". I tried to rationalize my choice - below 16 I yell, above 16 I tell them "good enough". With that being the backdrop, I thought hound or nag is better than holler, which is too much like yell.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 19:38


Looking at that cartoon, this is the word that came to mind.

to call out (a word or phrase)

  • hollering her daughter's name

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