With regard to the search for the lost Flight 270, “discipline leader of accident investigation at Central Queensland University in Australia,” said the following:
Wiz, I like it!<2014 “. . . it would be ‘coincidental in the extreme’ for the sounds to have come from anything other than an aircraft’s flight recorder. If they have a got a legitimate signal, and it’s not from one of the other vessels or something, you would have to say they are within a bull’s roar”—WashingtonPost.com, 7 April>
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DICTIONARY CENTRE
BULL’S ROAR: NOT WITHIN A BULL’S ROAR: Not anywhere near— ‘The club’s not within a bull’s roar of winning the premiership this season.’ A roaring bull can be heard over a great distance, so that to be not within a bull’s roar is to be a considerable distance away. The phrase is sometimes used without the negative— to be within a bull’s roar means that you are not too far away. A much finer unit of measurement is expressed by the similar Australian phrase within a bee’s dick [[beautiful!]].
But, I had assumed that a bit of poetic license was in use here. I know that lions, tigers, and bears roar. Additionally, Wikipedia says that alligators, elephants, and hippopotamuses also roar. But bulls? I thought they bellow.
Let’s check it out:
Here are 2 min. and 26 sec. of bull sounds (I can’t believe I actually listened to the whole thing) and I’m still not sure I heard a roar. Well, I guess it all comes down to definitions:
AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY
ROAR [[relevant definitions]]
1) verb intransitive: To utter a loud, deep, prolonged sound, especially in distress, rage, or excitement.
2) verb transitive: To utter or express with a loud, deep, and prolonged sound.
3) noun: The loud deep cry of a wild animal.
That was not too helpful. I’ll try another tack. Continuing with American Heritage:
BELLOW [[relevant definitions]]
intransitive verb: To make the deep roaring sound characteristic of a bull.
noun: The roar of a large animal, such as a bull.
Looks like bulls can roar, but pigs still can't fly! However, according to the above Wikipedia link, bears, for example, can roar as well as growl groan, and moan. So, not all bull sounds are necessarily roars. Now I should go back and listen to that 2 min. and 26 sec. again and try and pick out, which ones are. But I'm not. (<:)
The following quotes are from archived sources:
____________________<1973 “The sound of axes rang all the way down through Taroona, past places that hadn’t been within a bull’s roar of the fire.”—The Barcoo Salute by Patsy Adam-Smith, page 53>
<1984 “La Humphrey at the opera is consumed by an onslaught of genteelism, a disease which afflicts so many of the Corporation’s servants when they come within a bull’s roar of Culture For the Masses.”—Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales, Australia), 1 February, page 10>
<1992 “Needless to say, the book never gets within a bull’s roar of establishing this amazing nonsense.”—The Australian Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1, Autumn, page 102>
<1999 “Shakespeare is the standard, the criterion by which all writers of English are judged, and no one has yet come within a bull's roar.”—Sunday Star – Times (Wellington, New Zealand), 14 March, page c5>
<2002 “That's a tremendous [[alleged]] marketing feat when one considers that a paper [[The Independent]] unable to come within a bull's roar of its main rivals in Britain - the Times, Guardian and Telegraph - manages to sell a higher percentage than any of them abroad.”— The Guardian (London), 14 January, Media, page 9>
<2008 “Reading about WWI carnage made hair stand up on the back of your neck. But it was not within a bull's roar of the heart-stopping jolt when you finally visited places such as Villers-Bretonneux in northern France.”—The Gold Coast Bulletin (Southport, Queensland, Australia), 11 November, page 15>
<2012 “‘Not within a bull's roar’: judge criticises KFC poisoning appeal bid: They don't come within a bull's roar of complying with the rules [relating to appeals], Justice Hoeben said.”—The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales, Australia), 16 November>
<2014 (Caption) Uneven field: Technology means regular investors don't get within a bull's roar of the big guys on Wall Street.”—Waikato Times (Hamilton, New Zealand), 5 April, page C.6>
Ken G – April 8, 2014