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Lookups spiked after the president-elect of the Philippines whistled at a reporter

Lookups for catcall spiked dramatically on June 2nd, 2016, following reports that the president-elect of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, had whistled suggestively at a reporter, Mariz Umali, at a news conference.

Rosette Adel of The Philippine Star reported that

Duterte drew flak from netizens and other journalists when he wolf whistled Umali, saying that catcalling a woman publicly with words having dirty connotations is a form of sexual harassment based on Article 1 Section 8 of Davao City Ordinance No. 5004 or “The Women's Development Code of Davao City.”

Catcall appeared in English as a noun in the middle of the 17th century. This earliest sense of the word meant “a small instrument for producing a sound like the cry of a cat, formerly used especially in theaters to express disapproval or contempt.” Early uses of the word are found most frequently in plays, showing the theatrical roots of the term.

She has a voice will grate your Ears worse than a Cat-call, and dresses so ill she's scarce fit to trick up a Yeomans Daughter on a Holyday.
—George Etherege, The Man of Mode, or, Sr. Fopling Flutter. A Comedy: acted at the Duke’s Theatre, 1676

By 1681 the word had become a verb, as seen in an anonymous political satire from that year.

He's B---r's Boar-Catt, that not only Mouses for his Master, but like a Lascivious Representative Puss, goes a rutting to the House-top, and Cat-calls the whole Faction.
The Phanatick in His Colours, 1681

The earliest sense of catcall, the noisemaking device, is little used these days. The word, whether as a noun or a verb, is most often encountered when used in reference to a comment or noise that is rude, sexually suggestive in nature, or both.

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