What is the sound of a baby's cry in Spanish (i.e., the Spanish equivalent for English's "Waah!" or "Wah!")?


According to this Fundéu list, the Spanish onomatopoeia for a crying baby is "bua":

  • llanto de un bebé: ¡bua, bua!

The official dictionary (the DLE) does not include it as a word, though; but that's expected, as explained in the answer to this other question: Is there an official list of Spanish onomatopoeia?.

| improve this answer | |
  • Nor does the Oxford English Dictionary include "Waah!", "Wah!", etc. – Geremia Nov 25 '17 at 0:30
  • I know in Mexican Spanish at least the word I've heard used sounds like "¡cuñá! ¡cuñá!" (I might not be getting the spelling 100% right). – Geremia Nov 25 '17 at 0:33

In Chile our onomatopoeia is ¡guaaa! This is because in the Mapuzungun language (the language of the Mapuche ethnic group), "baby" is called guagua, and later its use has been extended to all current Spanish speech, even in formal and cultured situations.

(I never thought that elsewhere the onomatopoeia was different, consequently I am very surprised to read here that the standard form is buaaa. In Chile, this form seems closer to the scare.)

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    @Rodrigo, guagua (wawa in Mapudungun) actually comes from Quechua and it's not clear if were the Spaniards who took that word into the Mapuche people, or were the Incas themselves who introduce it into Mapudungun previously. – Andrés Chandía Nov 28 '17 at 19:25

What you are looking for is an "onomatopoeia".

You can find a little feedback here over the different onomatopoeias for the crying sound:


  • buu/ buaa

  • bua / buah / buahhh

  • snif snif

  • guaaa

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    De ellas, yo destacaría "buaa", es prácticamente la única que he oído. – FGSUZ Nov 24 '17 at 20:16
  • 1
    Remember that it's OK to link other pages, but it's mandatory to copy here the most relevant parts. So the answer will always be here even if the linked page changes or disappears. – Charlie Nov 24 '17 at 20:53
  • Yes, of course I'm looking for onomatopeyas, but this doesn't answer my question. – Geremia Nov 25 '17 at 0:28
  • @Geremia, I even gave you a list of Reviewed site of the onomatopoeias used, if you want to know if the sound have a name, the I can tell you, it does not , you only translate it to : "el llanto de un bebe", so I don't really understand what you are looking for. – Mike Nov 30 '17 at 15:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.