Questions tagged [onomatopoeia]

A word that phonetically imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes. Common occurrences of onomatopoeias include animal noises such as "oink", "meow", "roar" or "chirp", or human sounds like "yawn", "gulp" or "mwah".

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18 views

What is the best way to interrupt text with an onomatopoeia?

I know you can use hyphens to interrupt; but I was wondering how it would be best to have some sort of loud noise interrupt the speaker. For example, a bang interrupting speech. Is it okay to just ...
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How to spell what sounds like “ish” or “eesh”?

I've heard this word a lot of times, but still don't know how to write it down. It's used when you want to show some kind of disgust, or something like that. It sounds like "ish" or "eesh". I've ...
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What is an onomatopoeic word for unlocking a door?

I've been writing a story and I wanted to add a sound effect: that of a door unlocking. So, what is an onomatopoeic word for unlocking a door?
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67 views

Sound of gnawing a bone [closed]

I want the audience to be sure what was crunching was torn apart deer bones, not the crunch of the joint capsules of the old wolf, whenever it bent its knees to take another bite. What word or phrase ...
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1answer
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What is the onomatopoeia for when you remove a sticker or an adhesive from its place? [closed]

First of all: I'm not a native english speaker, I'm using a translator. I want to know what the exact sound is for when you take off a sticker from something. El sonido exacto para cuando despegas o ...
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Does “ook” as onomatopoeia for the sound a monkey makes originate with Terry Pratchett?

I just recently ran into someone making the claim that the use of "ook" to represent the sound a monkey makes is a reference to the librarian from the Unseen University of Terry Pratchett's Discworld ...
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115 views

Are there any words describing normal breathing?

I am not sure but I can't find any words that describe normal calm breathing. Something that describes the exhale of a breath or blowing air out from your mouth. Not frantic or puffed breathing just ...
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125 views

What are interesting and evocative words for (disgusting) throat sounds? [closed]

Here is my passage for example: “Now I can hear him through the walls hucking and sniffing, expectorating and blowing all kinds of things in a grotesque, unconscious, unhealthy sounding manner.”...
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73 views

Onomatopoeic words with repeated first syllable

I've come across a small number of onomatopoeic words whose first syllables repeat: borborygmus tintinnabulation ululation I was wondering is there is a word describing such words and if any of ...
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263 views

how can you describe the sound of rustling leaves [closed]

how can you describe the sound of rustling leaves in just one word. If you want to write what they can hear as if it is onomatopoeia. I do not want to write that he can hear rustling, I just want to ...
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650 views

Onomatopoeia for coughing [duplicate]

As the title says! I am looking for an onomatopoeia for coughing, as in: "[sound]" he coughed violently, as if his lungs were ...etc Alternative suggestions are also gladly accepted :_ Thanks!
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476 views

Verb for when cats meow other than meow itself

If a dog barks "woof" (or some other variation) a frog croaks "ribbit" is there a verb for when cats "meow" other than "meow" itself? I am specifically looking for a word that is usually only ...
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976 views

Describing the sound of blood drops

I'm searching for a word describing the sound of blood drops falling on someone's shoulder. I found some describing the sound of liquids hitting a surface, such as tap, splat, and tuck. I was going ...
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1answer
126 views

What does walking on wet pavement sound like?

I've had the word 'clicking' down for a while, but it truly doesn't capture what I'm trying to express. I have a very distinct sound in my head, but I just can't find the right word. I would just ...
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1answer
3k views

What's the sound of a starting car? [closed]

I've been looking trying to find an onomatopoeia for a car starting. I've tried to come up with it by making the sound myself, but I come up blank and quite frankly failed to mimicking the sound. It's ...
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67 views

General verb for animal making sound

English language has different verbs for different species of animals making sound, many are onomatopoeias. But is there a general verb that can be applied to an unnamed animal? e.g., can I say "I ...
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Catching some zzz's [closed]

ZZZ is not a word in the dictionary yet sh, ah, uh, and ow are, to name a few. I realize that we say "sh" to someone along with the other words. But we don't actually say zzz, its something we do. We ...
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How to describe this metallic sound?

Link to the sound in question Another example of the sound I'm trying to write a sword fight scene where a swordsman is able to predict his opponent's next swing. And every time he does, he hears ...
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4answers
512 views

Does “clack” necessarily refer to sound?

I have a question about the verb clack in the following paragraph taken from Sandkings by George R. R. Martin. In this paragraph, the protagonist, Simon Kress, is being shown a strange kind of ...
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Is 'to suck your teeth' the same thing as saying 'tsk'? [duplicate]

I am inclined to think that 'to suck your teeth' is a possible description for the sound 'tsk'. Is there any good source to support (or dismiss) my assumption? By 'tsk' I mean the onomatopoeia for a ...
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1answer
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Is “shh” a word and why? [closed]

Is shh a word? If it is, why is it a word? If it is not, why isn't it a word?
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1answer
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I need a definition of, usage and correct spelling of caplui

I may be spelling this wrong or this may be a poor version of the word but I am looking for the spelling and meaning of the word caploui I am trying to use it in a sentence like ' and all of a sudden,...
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Onomatopoeia for disgust [duplicate]

Are there any English onomatopoeias for disgust / loathe? What exclamations are commonly used to express repulsion? Something that could be used like: (___) dog shit. I loathe it! (some sound here)...
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Single word to describe something that describes itself [duplicate]

For example orange - orange describes exactly what it is. I thought that the word was onomatopoeia but when I looked it up — it's described as sounds; e.g. bleat for lamb or miaow for cat. I was ...
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a word for the sound a person makes when knocked down

Working on a scene where a character is repeatedly struck down by having objects thrown at her, starting the scene with the sound she would make after being hit with a ball made of solid ice.
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666 views

How to write the sound of a pool break [closed]

I am trying to write the sound of a pool break. Something like "thwock", but I need some input to capture it best.
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1answer
9k views

how to write an onomatopoeia in a short story?

I'm writing a short story and I would like to know how to add an onomatopoeia in a sentence. Do I have to underline it? Can an onomatopoeia be a sentence on its own? Thank you for answering.
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onomatopoeia for taking a deep breath before speaking

I'm writing a comic, and a character is about to ask another character for help, but it's taken her a lot of effort to be able to ask for help. So, before she finally asks she takes a deep breath and ...
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241 views

When did animal sounds get codified?

Every kindergartner knows that a sheep says baa, a cow says moo, a cat says meow and a goat says maa. But this is just in English. In other languages, they say other things. When did animal sounds ...
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Should I use speech marks for sounds?

If I were to describe a sudden sound, in this example: Boom! Were I to put it in speech marks: "Boom!" Just like in a dialogue, or to do something else, in that case what?
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Onomatopoeia for a kettle [closed]

When the water is hot enough, what is the sound made by the kettle? Is Choo-choo correct ?
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5k views

How do you show someone is crying in dialogue?

How do you show someone is crying in dialogue? (as in, is there an onomatopoeia that can show crying well? I ask because "(insert dialogue)..sniffle..(insert dialogue)..snifle..", does show that the ...
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onomatopoeia for the sound of spoons hitting on the plate when eating? [closed]

Is there any word to describe this? I have tried inging but not sure if that is the best word.
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Where did “Pew! Pew!” come from?

To elaborate, I'm talking about the "sound effect" that people often make when imitating gunfire. Eg. "Pew! Pew! I shot you Billy, you're dead now!" I suppose this developed from the "Bang! Bang!"...
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327 views

Interjection made in mockery to make someone jealous

I seem to remember there is an interjection used by children when they have something another kid doesn't as a way to make them jealous: it's something along the lines of nuh-nuh-nah-nuh-nah said in a ...
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3answers
711 views

Verb or phrase for “to make an onomatopoeia”

In the event that a common, recognized, and understood onomatopoeia for a sound does not already exist, how would you phrase the creation of an onomatopoeia for the sound? Essentially the word ...
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Sound of a zip fastener?

I was wondering, how would you best describe the sound a zip fastener makes when it's opened or closed slowly? You know, that "r-r-r-r-r" kind of sound? I thought about growling, but that feels too ...
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A word that describes a sound that is not an onomatopoeia

By necessity, visual phenomena have abstract descriptions. The word yellow is only linked to the actual color because our teachers told us so. Sounds are easier to describe. Because language is sound, ...
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What verb would you use to describe the sound tires make when they roll on the asphalt?

In a previous question, I mentioned an English teacher who changed the following sentence “…the rustling of tires." to “…the rustle of tires.” It seems; however, that rustle has been assessed and ...
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406 views

Word for Self-Exemplifying Phrase

Depeche Mode's song, "I Promise You I Will," contains the following lines: I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say (I promise you) I know they don't sound the way I ...
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Onomatopoeia for sirens (police, ambulance, fire engines)

I came across these two sentences in Peopleware The Furniture Police at one company we know even listed a number for spilled coffee on the Emergency Numbers decal affixed to every phone. We were ...
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What sound do blinds make in English?

When you raise or lower a window blind with a one quick movement, it produces a sound, what do you call that sound in English? I rolled up/raised/opened/ pulled up the window blind quickly with a/...
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How to describe making sounds with your throat?

Say if someone asked you a yes/no question, and you make that note of assent with your throat to let them know that yes is the answer to the question, how would you describe that through writing? I ...
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What are the words to express sobbing and crying sound?

Google doesn't help much. What are the sounds (written in words) that people usually use to express their crying/sobbing emotions such as in chat, social network? For example if I say, "I am sad [...
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Is there another way to write Gasping and Panting sounds?

I'm making a comic where a character is scared and is hyperventilating. What should I write to make it as if they're panting/gasping?
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What is the origin of “woof!”?

We know that woof is the sound a dog makes when barking. It is used both as a noun and a verb. The word is onomatopoeic but it is also used as an interjection. People woof too when they are attracted ...
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435 views

Similar forms to word-making as onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia is defined as; the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g., cuckoo, sizzle). (from Google). They also add: late 16th century: via late Latin from Greek ...
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What would be the onomatopoeia for “spit”?

Just wanted to know how to write in a chat room the sound for "spit". As in "meow" for the sound that a cat makes, what would you write for the sound of the verb "spit"? (Google wasn't very helpful, ...
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5k views

How to spell a sound I hear people make

When you stick your tongue outside of your mouth and gently blow, it makes a common sound to indicate "whatever!" or "I don't like your answer/response" or "Yes, you are smarter than I am." What is ...
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What is the right description of the word “squeaky” in “squeaky clean”?

Is squeaky in "squeaky clean" an onomatopoeia? Is there a right word to describe this word, other than simply an "adjective"? It's something that uses the description of a sound as an adjective. ...