Ahmed and Leif, As I checked some references I didn’t see anything further on country of origin. Did find the following info though:
The “wolf-whistle” or “wolf whistle is a subset of WOLF CALL which is “a whistle, shout, [[howl]]or the like uttered by a male in admiration of a female’s appearance” (Random House Unabridged, but no date given).
WOLF WHISTLE noun: [1945-50] 1) a call made by whistling, often characterized by two sliding sounds, a peal up higher and then one up to a lower note and down. 2) a similar whistle used by a man to express physical attraction to a woman (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).
A famous wolf call (verbal analog of the wolf whistle) when I was growing up and beyond was the exclamation and term of approval of a passing broad, I mean girl, I mean woman – you know what I mean! And this does have its origin with G.I.s of WW II (see ‘hubba hubba’ – posting # 4433):
HUBBA HUBBA (see posting # 4433): Slang: (an interjection or exclamation of admiration, approval, enthusiasm, and delight used esp. by G.I.'s of World War II as a shout in appreciation or calling attention to a sexually attractive or pretty girl.) [1940–45, ‘American; origin uncertain; much speculation has been devoted to the original sense and origin of this expression]. As I checked some references I didn’t see anything further on country of origin. Did find the following info though:
Paraphrased from Rawson’s Wicked Words
The only other thing I can add is that the ‘wolf ‘ in wolf whistle had from ancient times been a rapacious person, one who devours others, especially a man who preys (sexually) upon women or younger men. Cruel and predatory people have been characterized as wolves for well over a thousand years, and the sexual connotations of that term have been apparent for most of the time. The wolf was a symbol of lust in Elizabethan period and was used as such by Shakespeare.
The Reverend Cotton Mather, meanwhile, used the term in its modern lecherous sense in 1721, describing an Anglican clergyman, James Mc Sparran, as a ‘grievous wolf'. The Reverend MC Sparran earned the epithet with an awkward attempt to seduce a young women; she testified that “he put his Hand round my Waste, and shoved me along, and set me down on the bed. . . .[and told me] that if I went to Naraganset I should not come home a Maid again”. From not-so puritanical ‘wolves’ of this ilk we also have the verb TO WOLFE (here meaning ‘to seduce’ rather than ‘to gobble down food’); WOLF BAIT (an especially attractive morsel of femininity); and WOLF WHISTLE (an appreciative whistle, used both as a noun and a verb., e.g. “The governor of Mississippi today called for a complete investigation of the kidnap-killing of a Negro youth [Emmett Till], who allegedly wolf-whistled at a white woman” (AP, 9/2/55)).
The wolf that preys on men rather than women dates to at least World War I. “The sodomist, the degenerate, the homosexual ‘wolf’ ...” (New Republic 1/13/17)
The Oxford Dictionaries of Slang and Modern Slang say that the ‘wolf’ as a sexually aggressive man, a habitual would-be seducer of women, dates from 1847.
Ken G – May 11, 2003
Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)