How to Whistle without Spitting

For years, nay decades, I had wanted to be able to whistle like the boys did, using just two fingers held in some mysterious fashion to the mouth.  I tried…oh how I tried!…but all I managed to do was spit down one arm to the elbow.  In soggy despair, I gave up.  Then along came my son, all growed up, who offered to teach me.  To my happy surprise, he was a good teacher, and, before long, I was tweetering along with the best of them (not to be confused with tweeting which does require fingers but no lips or spit).

When I bragged about this ability in a reply to a bloggist friend’s post, she shared her own wish of many years that she could perform that exact same whistle.  She asked me to post a blow-by-blow description of how to do it.  So…this is for Huffygirl…and for anyone else who has always had a secret desire to whistle without spitting.

1. Curl your tongue upward.

2. Put an index finger into each side of your mouth, with the tip of the finger resting on the bottom part of the tongue just where the curl starts.

3. Close your mouth snugly over your fingers.

4. Blow wind through the space made by your fingers and the underside of your tongue.  Think of blowing into a bottle to make a whistling sound.  This is sort of the same way you need to blow through your mouth/fingers/under the tongue.

5. It might take a little practice, but this is definitely the way to do it.  You might want to do it in the bathroom with the door closed…for two reasons.  One, it might help you to watch how you are placing your fingers in the mirror.  Two, you do look kind of dumb standing there spitting down your elbow until you get it.

6. Don’t give up.  It will work.  You will feel so triumphant when it does.  Then you will drive your dog, cat, grandchildren and husband nuts while you go around tootling off-key.


P.S It occurred to me that You Tube might have something helpful, and, of course, it did.  Have a look at this video, remembering that I wrote the above instructions before I looked at this video.


16 responses to “How to Whistle without Spitting

  1. From someone who can’t whistle I almost got it to work…will try again when no one is home, ha!


    • Good going, suzi. There are quite a few You Tube videos on whistling through the fingers. There might be other methods there that will work better for you. I have tried the other ways and they don’t work for me, but they might for you. If I can do it, you should be able to do it. If not, get Dirt Man or some other guy to patiently show you how 😛 The thrill of achieving it is very heady!


  2. Sandra: Still can’t whistle, but I did manage to moisturize my arm…:-) I can tie a cheery stem into a knot with my tongue, however—oh yeah, and can still do the splits. Otherwise, coordination has completely forsaken me…Cheers! MTE


  3. The splits!! Are you kidding me? Migosh, that beats whistling through your fingers seven ways to Sunday. Forget the whistling and practice your splits!


  4. Well, I always wanted to whistle like that. All that has happened so far is that I’m hyperventilating. I’ll keep working on it. And I’ll check out youtube.


  5. Honestly, I’m a bit surprised at the number of gals who wanted to whistle like that – in such a small cross-section of the population. I guess I wasn’t as unique as I thought I was.

    Indeed, check out You Tube, Cecelia. Although most don’t follow the method I am saying exactly, they do show you how, step by step. And maybe you will find a method that will better suit your style. Good luck!


  6. Do you know Sandra, I had a feeling there might be a follow up when you revealed that you had always wanted to whistle with your fingers! Sons have their uses, don’t they? teehee!
    I always envied my brothers being able to do this but I could never master it, so I followed your son’s instructions – but still failed – just got light-headed!


    • Indeed, sons have their uses. I have had others try to teach me and it always failed. Maybe each woman only has one or two males who can teach them. Do try watching the You Tube videos, though, Barb. Some of them are quite different and might have the missing puzzle part for you.


  7. I can’t…yet. But I’ll keep trying! John, too, apparently he never could either, though, like my little brother, he can wiggle his ears. I’m told this is only something guys can do. Something about the different musculature there or whatever.



    • Wow, John can’t either? I thought all guys were born with this ability. I stand corrected.

      On the other hand, I can wiggle my ears. I’ve always been able to do it. I swear I’m a girl too. Ask Wert. 😛

      Keep on trying, Kally. If I could learn to do it, surely you can.


  8. Somebody else had this on their bucket list lately, but I can’t remember who . . . it might have been a discussion on Kate Shrewsday’s blog.

    I can whistle . . . but I’ve never done it with fingers in mouth. 😉


  9. Sandra, thanks for the step by step instructions just for me! I may need you to come by my house and show me personally though. So far, lots of spit and no whistle. I’m not sure I can make my tongue curl the way it’s supposed to – I can’t do regular whistling either.


    • I’d love to come by your house personally to show you how. What fun that would be. However, the old budget might not allow a trip to the States just yet. As I’ve recommended to others, watch the various videos on whistling through your fingers. They have different ideas on how to do it and they show it step by step. One of theirs might be easier for you.

      I also don’t think you have to learn to do regular whistling first. Like I told Nancy, it is the same kind of principle, but it does use different muscles and a different mindset. Practice curling your tongue too – the tip goes up and points back towards the throat. You can use your upper lip to hold it in place if you need to, just for the time you are practicing.


  10. Very interesting, I tried it many times with a lot fun in doing it even not sucessful at many times, i tried again and again and finally i can do it. Thanks. i like it


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