A noise vibrates through my ossicles,
the hairs on my neck stand like bristles
at the thought of nearby threat,
my palms and forehead start to sweat

But I'll stay calm, I am no fool
I am able to keep my cool
Even though the chambers, four,
I know none of them has a door

I am not scared, those of my ilk
will rarely cry over spilt milk
You may not know me personally,
but you will know my family.

What is my family's name?

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I believe the answer is:

Mammal

First verse:

Mammals have hair and sweat. Ossicles are small bones located in the middle ear of mammals.

Second verse:

Mammals are warm blooded with a 4 chambered heart. They can cool down their body temperature by sweating.

Third verse:

Mammals produce milk for their young

  • 1
    Damn... that makes waaay more sense than "cow". More kingdom than family though and I know plenty of them personally... <.< (nittpick) Hope OP chimes in soon because I figure I can quit trying to figure it out now – Brent Hackers Nov 8 at 16:02
  • 1
    Do all members of the family have palms though? – Mr Lister Nov 8 at 16:40
  • 2
    @BrentHackers -- well if we're getting technical, mammals form a class rather than a kingdom or family. Kingdom would be animals, and family would be (in the case of cows) bovids. – BenM Nov 8 at 23:24
  • 1
    @Astralbee I didn't mean to come across at all seriously. I was going for obviously sarcastic/disingenuous. Sorry if that wasn't clear. – Brent Hackers Nov 9 at 11:24
  • 2
    @BrentHackers That's okay, fellow mammal. Also just realised I should have aimed my comments at BenM. Sorry about that. – Astralbee Nov 9 at 13:47

First verse:

Someone who breaks out a sweat on the mere thought of a threat is obviously a COWARD.

Second verse:

This can only be about the HEART, obviously. See also AHKieran's answer.

Third verse:

A family who we don't know the individual members of by name, but we do know the family as a whole. That could conceivably be a flock of SHEEP, or, more likely, with the milk and all, a herd of COWs.

So when we put it all together, we end up with

COWARD HEART COW

Which doesn't make a lot of sense, unfortunately.

Partial:

Not really an answer just stating my thoughts

First Verse:

This just made me think of a prey animal, like a deer, that's just heard its predator nearby so maybe this verse makes up the sound PREY?

Second Verse:

The only/first thing I can think of that has 4 chambers and no doors, is the heart, which has two ventricles and two aorta if I remember correctly. Therefore I believe this adds HEART to the name. Also, if you stay calm, your heart beats slowly, and it propagating blood throughout your body can help keep you cool.

Third Verse:

This doesn't seem to point to a specific addition to the name, just the name as a whole, but my previous determinations of PRAYHEART don't seem to work here...

Maybe

Cow?

A noise vibrates through my ossicles, the hairs on my neck stand like bristles

Um... Cows have ears and hair? ...Ok, I know but hold on a sec.

at the thought of nearby threat, my palms and forehead start to sweat

Ok, no palms so definitely NOT Cow's but some of the other ones fit REALLY well so hear me out...

But I'll stay calm, I am no fool I am able to keep my cool

Cows aren't particularly flighty animals and their ears cool them down.

Even though the chambers, four, I know none of them have a door

Stomachs? Chambers, no doors, cow have 4! See? If this was in a riddle about cows, you'd think it was really clever.

I am not scared, those of my ilk will rarely cry over spilt milk

Cows are associated with Milk

You may not know me personally, but you will know my family.

I don't know any cows personally, but I know of them.

I could be way off but I'm going with...

Answer:

Wallace

Explanation:

1: Nerves before a battle. Beating of drums and yelling/chanting would make even the bravest of men nervous. William Wallace fought in the First War of Scottish Independence. 2: First thing I thought of was Braveheart. I thought maybe this was a hint to the movie Braveheart which featured the Wallace family. In particular William Wallace. 3: I believe 'ilk' is a Scottish word and although we do not know the Wallace family personally most of us have read about or have seen movies/documentaries about them.

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Here are my answers:

Hart or Deerhart/Dearhart/Dearheart.

I've seen these names used as family names before. As for the longer one,

I read the name "Adora Belle Dearheart" in Terry Pratchett's novel "Going Postal".

The first verse makes me think of

a deer. This makes sense except for the last line involving sweating palms. (Deer have hooves instead of hands.)

The second verse makes me think of

a heart (like a human heart). Hearts of mammals have four chambers, and no doors (but only if you don't count valves as doors). The word "heart" has the homonym "hart", which can mean "male deer", a nice throwback to the first verse.

Combine the two together, and I get

Hart/Heart, or Deerheart (and its various spellings), which are not-unheard-of family names.

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