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As I note, is the word onomatopoeia itself onomatopoeic? Or does the use of the word not quite follow the rules?

I recall being engaged in a spirited debate about this in my high school days—I cannot recall which side I was on, mind. Nor can I recall who won, or if it was merely settled by accusations of slander at the respective parties' parenthood.

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closed as not a real question by Carlo_R., FumbleFingers, Mark Beadles, Jim, Kris Dec 21 '12 at 6:04

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It's metaonomatopoeic. –  John Lawler Dec 20 '12 at 19:39
    
Which is of course hypermetaonomatopoeic in turn. –  MετάEd Dec 20 '12 at 19:57
    
No, but the word metaphor is ... a metaphor. Get it? Wild, huh? Is your mind blown yet? –  Mitch Dec 20 '12 at 20:28
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...in what sense could onomatopoeia possibly be onomatopoeic? What on earth is the "sound" it might represent? –  FumbleFingers Dec 20 '12 at 23:30
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What exactly do you think onomatopoeic means? –  Mark Beadles Dec 20 '12 at 23:39
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1 Answer 1

No.

Onomatopoeia is when the sound of a word evokes its meaning. How exactly does the sound of the word onomatopoeia suggest its the meaning? This question sounds like a good way for high schoolers to waste some time, but there's no serious question about the answer.

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well, (and now i might recall where i was in this particular debate) - if you know what onomatopoeia means, how doesn't the soud of the word suggest its meaning? In fact, the sound of the word is directly tied to its meaning, no? –  bharal Dec 20 '12 at 21:22
    
The word's etymology confirms this answer and refutes your assertion that the word is based on a sound. –  JLG Dec 20 '12 at 21:51
    
What sound does an onomatope actually make? –  Blessed Geek Dec 21 '12 at 0:37
    
An onomatope makes a "barroooo, baroooo" sound, but that just seems a bit OT. –  bharal Dec 21 '12 at 1:14
    
@JLG I'm not arguing that the etymology would imply that the word is based on a sound. I'm asking ~ well, I suppose now i'm arguing ~ that the word and the sound of the word neatly coalesce into a respectable (if unorthodox) example of the meaning of the word. –  bharal Dec 21 '12 at 1:15
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