A catcall is a sort of loud whistle or shout, that is done to express a strong load of disapproval and dislike.
It is especially common in sporting events, from football to baseball to basketball matches, directed especially in toward the referee.
Alternatively, a “catcall” may be a whistle, a shout or possibly a grunt, especially from construction workers, fueled by a sexual desire and directed toward lonely women, minding their own business.
This is a rather offensive and ineffective way of getting the attention of a potential partner and even if they would be interested initially, after a “catcall” most women are repulsed.
Origin of the term
The term originally referred to a kind of whistle, used by theatre-goers, in case the act was displeasing.
The word was first registered to be used in 1693.
Over the years its meaning had transformed to a general shout or whistle of dislike.
Spread of the term
The term today is relatively unused, as even the practice of “catcalling” a lady on the street is considered oubliette and impolite, at the least.
“Catcalls” are a thing of sports events now, reserved solely for the referee of the game, who is never approved by both sides.