Onomatopoeic words are words which resemble the sound they refer to. These words are also known as imitative and echoic words.
Common examples include: hiccup, sizzle, whack, grunt, murmur, rattle, etc.
Origin of the noun: onomatopoeia
1577, from Late Latin., from the Greek onomatopoiia “the making of a name or word” (in imitation of a sound associated with the thing being named), from onomatopoios, from onoma (genesis onomatos ) “word, name” + a derivative of poiein “compose, make”.
As used in Victoria Hislop’s vivid descriptions of flamenco dance lessons in The Return:
“This is the basic footwork”… There was nothing particularly complex about doing this in slow motion. “Lan-ta”, he shouted as he slammed his foot on the ground. There was someting perfectly onomatopoeic about the next word he shouted as the sharp sound of his heel drove down into the floor, “ta-com, ta-con” he repeated.
Did you know that onomatopoeic words exist in all languages? For example, while in English we say horses ‘neigh’ or ‘whinny’, I am told in Norwegian they ‘knegger’ and in Portuguese they ‘relincha’. Do you know of any other interesting onomatopoeic words across languages? If so, please share them with us.
If you would like to join in my World of Words each Thursday, grab the badge and leave the direct link to your post in a comment below!