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I often in children's literature come across the rrrrrrrrrrrrS when a plane take off and the bumpity-bump when someone falls, etc.

and I am wondering if these are called with a specific term? written sounds? transcribed sounds maybe?

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"bumpity-bump" requires a hyphen. –  Mitch Jul 19 '13 at 13:26
    
We in the U.S. assume the onomatopoeic words we're familiar with--animal sounds for example--actually represent the way animals sound. To the people in another culture, on the other hand, the word "moo" may sound (when translated and pronounced)completely different. The same may be true for meow, baaaa, ribbit, bzzzzz, neigh, ad infinitum. Kind of makes me wonder if there is a toy manufacturer in the U.S. that makes those animal-sound toys that kids in the U.S. play with that modifies them to be culturally sensitive to the kids in the various countries to which the company exports them! –  rhetorician Jul 19 '13 at 14:04
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Making a descriptive word out of the sound that something makes is called onomatopoeia:

Definition of ONOMATOPOEIA
1 : the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (as buzz, hiss)
2 : the use of words whose sound suggests the sense

The term is derived from the Greek words ὄνομα (onoma, name) and ποιεῖν (poiein, to make, to create). The same root as poet.

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Well I guess bumpity bump falls under that category but what about rrrrrrrrrrr? I mean it's not lexicalized. –  rery Jul 19 '13 at 13:16
    
I'd say it still applies @rery. See the wikipedia page on onomatopoeia, their example is "tic-tac" for the sound a clock makes, that seems equivalent. –  terdon Jul 19 '13 at 13:21
    
That's the first time I've hear tic-tac for the sound of a clock. AFAIK, in BrE it's always referred to as tick-tock - at least it was when I was a child. –  TrevorD Jul 19 '13 at 15:18
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