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Here's something I was thinking about the other day: is there a word like "onomatopoeia" that can be used to describe words that sound like what they describe?

This can include, for example, seeing a picture of a bear's head Photoshopped onto an elephant and calling it "belephant", but I am also interested in a word to describe the sound someone makes when naming a new object.

Food for thought!

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closed as not a real question by RegDwigнt Jun 10 '13 at 11:17

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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"Belephant" does not sound like a picture of a bear's head photoshopped onto an elephant. You will have to be more precise what you're looking for. You've got a rather solid answer for the little you had to offer, but it's not clear if that's what you're really after (and if it is, you've asked for it in a completely backwards way). Please clarify. –  RegDwigнt Jun 10 '13 at 11:17

1 Answer 1

That is an example of a portmanteau–a combination of two or more words to create a new one.

a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms (as smog from smoke and fog)

–Source: Merriam-Webster

But if you're really asking for 'the sound someone makes' when they're creating a portmanteau, I'm not sure if there is such a word to describe it, other than simply speaking.

And by the way, I believe it would actually be called a bearephant.

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Hmmm.... Belephant or bearephant? ’Eliphino! –  J.R. Jun 10 '13 at 11:09

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