In literature, any technique or device used to help the author achieve his or her purpose ( to gain the attention of the readers ) are called literary devices. When employed properly, the different literary devices help the readers appreciate, interpret and analyze literature. In today’s blog, we are going to have a look at one of the most interesting literary devices, known as onomatopoeia. Well, don’t get puzzled because the pronunciation of ‘onomatopoeia’ is a bit difficult but the interesting fact is that its meaning is very simple.
What is Onomatopoeia?
One can easily spot example of onomatopoeia in a sentence. The word ‘onomatopoeia’ comes from the combination of two Greek words namely ‘onoma’ meaning name and ‘poiein’ meaning to make. So, we can say that ‘onomatopoeia’ means the process of creating a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or, suggests the sound that it describes. Such a word itself is also called an onomatopoeia. There is no dearth of examples of onomatopoeia which we use or listen to in our daily life. The best examples of onomatopoeia are animal sounds which we hear quite frequently in our environment.
Let’s analyze onomatopoeia. When a word’s pronunciation imitates its sound, like ‘buzz’, ‘beep’, ‘fizz’, ‘boom’, ‘knock! knock’! These types of words are called onomatopoeia. The sound suggests the sense or meaning. To make it very simple, when the meaning of some words are conveyed by its sound, such words are called onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia creates a sound effect that mimics the thing described, making the description more expressive and interesting. One of the very common examples of onomatopoeia in our daily life are the sounds of animals like, ‘meow’, ‘oink’, ‘bark’, ‘coo’, ‘baa’.
Best Examples of Onomatopoeia
- Bash – hit hard.
- Belch – expel gas from the stomach.
- Chirp – a sharp sound made by small birds or insects.
- Ding-dong – the noise made by a bell.
- Giggle – laugh nervously.
- Hum – sing with closed lips.
- Hiccup – a spasm of the diaphragm that produces a sound.
- Toot – a blast of a horn.
- Whirr – sound of something in rapid motion
- Ahem – the utterance of sound similar to cleaning the throat
Groups of Onomatopoeic Words
Onomatopoeic words come in combinations, and they reflect different sounds of a single object. For example, words representing different sounds of:
Benefits of Using Onomatopoeia
- Interesting description
- More expressive
- Appeals the sensation
- Creates emphasis
25 Examples of Onomatopoeia You Never Thought of
- The rustling leaves took all my attention.
- The gushing stream flows in the forest.
- The stone fell into the river with a splash.
- He tapped loudly on the windowpane.
- The snakes in the pit hissed menacingly.
- The tinkle of the rain could be heard in the distance and we knew it was coming our way.
- Please do not gargle with your water like that; drink it properly.
- The steaks sizzled on the barbeque.
- We clapped our hands it time with the music.
- The dog barked as the postman approached the gate.
- The mud bubbled on the surface of the bog.
- The bird fluttered his wings and flew from the cage.
- I love the crunchy texture of fresh lettuce.
- The dog sniffed the air; he could smell meat.
- The loud boom of the fireworks scared the dog.
- I ordered online proofreading services with the click of a mouse.
- Whoop, whoop! The gorgeous girl at the cinema gave me her phone number.
- I couldn’t wait to escape the cold and sit by a warm, crackling fire.
- I didn’t see the warning sign and bumped my head on the low door frame.
- The crowd murmured as the judge announced the verdict.
- The mooing of the cows was hard to miss.
- Wind whistles through the branches of the tree.
- The cat purred loudly as you scratched her ears.
- Cock-a–doodle–do filled the air the minute the sun started to rise.
- The dogs ruffed wildly to announce the arrival of the strangers.
25 More Examples of Onomatopoeia
- Horses whined nervously at the approaching car.
- The turkeys gobbled in their pens.
- The disgruntled cat yowled.
- They heard the distinct hee-haw of the donkeys in the barn.
- The rocks kerplunk as they fall into the lake.
- Listen to the pitter–patter of raindrops on the leaves.
- Lighting crackles and thunder rumbles through the night.
- The boulder hit the ground with a flump.
- The dog barked all night.
- The mouse went squeak as it ran across the room.
- Suddenly, there was a loud thud at the door.
- The waves crashed against the side of the boat.
- The sausages are sizzling in the pan.
- The corn went pop in the microwave.
- The was a loud bang and then everything went dark.
- The audience clapped at the end of the show.
- I heard a huge roar and turned around and saw a bear.
- The owl hooted all night.
- A loud crack came from the ice.
- A twig snapped under my feet.
- Dad burped loudly after dinner.
- The tap dripped water all night long.
- Pitter–Patter went the rain.
- The snake hissed at me as I got closer.
- Mom always hums when she is cooking.
Running Onomatopoeia in Poetry
- Fossils ( by Ogden Nash )
At midnight in the museum hall
The fossils gathered for a ball
There were no dreams or saxophones,
But just the clatter of their bones….
- The Bells ( by Edgar Allan Poe )
Hear the sledges with the bells-
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
- Meeting at Night ( by Robert Browning )
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match
- Gathering Leaves ( by Robert Frost )
I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
Hence, we saw that poetry is constituted with some of the best examples of onomatopoeia. From meowing kittens to babbling brooks, the English language is replete with these copying phrases. The onomatopoeic impact can be used in poetry and literature to produce strong pictures without using a lot of words. Onomatopoeia also makes it easier to define an event, action or organism by relevant noises rather than literally describing it. Although sounds are not always universal, generally sounds cross language barriers.