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I mentioned こんこん to a native speaker, and he hadn't heard it before.

Is こんこん the standard onomatopoeia for foxes? If not, what does the fox say?

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「こんこん」 is just about the only onomatopoeia for a fox's cry. It is almost unbelievable what your native speaker friend(?) has told you.

In fact, 「こんこん」 can even mean a "fox" itself just like 「わんわん」 can mean a "dog" when speaking to toddlers.

See what デジタル大辞泉{だいじせん} says.

[副]

1 せきをするときの声を表す語。

狐{きつね}の鳴{な}き声{ごえ}を表{あらわ}す語{ご}。

3 固い物が軽く打ち当たったときに発する音を表す語。「扉をこんこん(と)ノックする」

4 雪や雨などがさかんに降るさま。

[名]狐のこと

My own TL of the above:

[Adverb]:

1) Onomatopoeia for coughing

2) Onomatopoeia for a fox's cry

3) Knocking sound

4) Onomatopoeia for heavy snow or rain

[Noun]: A fox.

Here is a famous children's song about foxes which is named none other than 「こぎつねこんこん」 and I still could not believe there is a native speaker who grew up not listening to or singing it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOuoIQWlrHs

  • 今の若者は「♪ こぎつねこんこん、やまのなか~」とかいう歌、もう知らないのよ、きっと・・youtube.com/watch?v=FSMLzcj50Ps – Chocolate Feb 7 '17 at 12:35
  • あ、そうなん?平成生まれのボクでもその歌知ってるのに・・ – l'électeur Feb 7 '17 at 12:38
  • 1
    こっちの歌のほうがうまかったやん~ youtube.com/watch?v=DeaVwGBEVBU ←ここに「ドイツ民謡」って書いてある!知らんかった – Chocolate Feb 7 '17 at 12:54
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    同じく平成生まれですがわかります – broccoli forest Feb 9 '17 at 5:42

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