I am thinking there's a word or an adjective for syllables that makes snake-like sounds, I don't know if a syllable that contain the letter s qualifies, or if it restricted to a very few syllables, but I think there's a word for it, but I don't remember what it was.

For example:

The poem had a lot of ___ syllables.

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    Are you perhaps thinking of sibilant? It designates phones, not syllables. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 26 '19 at 0:34
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    May be hissing? – Jyrki Lahtonen Mar 26 '19 at 5:18
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    @StoneyB: "phones" or "phonemes"? – virolino Mar 26 '19 at 7:23
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    @virolino Phones. I can make all sorts of sibilant sounds which are non-phonemic. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 26 '19 at 9:48
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    @StoneyB: I was not aware of this meaning of the word "phone". I will have to study a bit more about it. Thank you. – virolino Mar 26 '19 at 9:58

I think you think of consonants, not syllables.

It can be Voiceless alveolar fricative or Voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative.

Source: Wikipedia.

If you have another sound in mind, it can be called differently.


As StoneyB pointed out in the comments, the sound that is characterised by a hissing effect is called a 'sibilant'. S, Z, SH, ZH sounds in English are often referred to as 'sibilants'.

'Voiceless alveolar fricative' is the /s/ sound and is a sibilant as Virolino's answer suggests. However, 'voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative' is the TH sound as in 'thin' which isn't a sibilant.

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