What better than an imitation of sounds to create the desired effect. Onomatopoeia is a figure of speech that enhances your writing with sound effects. Browse through the onomatopoeia examples below.
The word 'onomatopoeia' originates from the Greek word, which means to create. An onomatopoeic word describes the source of a sound. These devices bring out the flavour from words giving the situation a lively feel. Common occurrences of onomatopoeia include animal noises or noises we hear in our everyday lives; the sound from a clock, door, phone etc. The onomatopoeic tool is used so commonly that evolve quickly into a new word, until the time it is no longer regarded as onomatopoeia but a part of vocabulary itself! Comic books and cartoon strips use this figure of speech extensively as the vivid nature of some of these words/phrases creates a real life effect. Advertising and media use onomatopoeia as a mnemonic because it helps the consumer to remember and relate to the products faster. Such is the power of sounds! So steer through the examples below and taste of essence of onomatopoeia.
Examples Of Onomatopoeia
- My son swooshed the basketball into the net.
- Shuffle the paper stack again properly.
- Please do not whisper in the examination hall.
- The owl hooted as it sat in the tree.
- Boo. I scared you.
- Meow, where's my milk, cried the cat.
- The jangle of her bracelets caught his attention.
- Click, click. She made a sound with her tongue to show her displeasure.
- The rustle of the leaves startled the kids.
- Pitter-patter rain drops are falling from the sky.
- My teacher told me to shoosh, because I was making too much noise.
- The door creaked open in the old mansion.
- The tires of the sports car halted with a loud screech.
- Harry mumbled in his mouth that he was not thirsty.
- The birds like to tweet outside my window.
- Drip, drip, drip, went the faucet all day long.
- Grandma loves to hear the pitter-patter of little feet around the house.
- Zip goes the jacket.
This figure of speech is widely used in poems rather than in prose writing since it is effective in conveying unusual and vivid images.
- 'It's a jazz affair, drum crashes and cornet razzes.
The trombone pony neighs and the tuba jackass snorts.
The banjo tickles and titters too awful.
The chippies talk about the funnies in the papers.'
From'Honky Tonk in Clevelnad, Ohio' by Carl Sandburg
- 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!'
From 'The Bells'by Edgar Allan Poe
- '...Three Queens with crowns of gold-and from them rose
A cry that shiver'd to the tingling stars,
And, as it were one voice, an agony
Of lamentation, like a wind, that shrills
All night in a waste land...'
From 'Morte D'Arthur'by Lord Alfred Tennyson
- "Old MacDonald had a farm, EE-I-EE-I-O.
And on that farm he had a cow, EE-I-EE-I-O,
With a moo-moo here and a moo-moo there
Here a moo there a moo everywhere a moo-moo,
Old MacDonald had a farm, EE-I-EE-I-O."....
From 'The Old Mac Donald' nursery rhyme
- Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
Tlot tlot, tlot tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hooves, ringing clear;
Tlot tlot, tlot tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?
From 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes
In Advertising And Media
Advertising, media and comics heavily rely on sound effects and this figure of speech exactly conveys that. Onomatopoeic words behave as mnemonics and make sure that the person remembers the catchy slogans or punch lines.
- The Nickelodeon cartoon 'Kablam's implied to be onomatopoeic as a crash.
- The marble game 'KerPlunk' is onomatopoeia for the sound of the marbles dropping when sticks have been removed.
- In 'Doctor Who' comic strips, the sound of the Tardis (clocks) is represented as Vwoooorp! Vwoooorp!
- 'Snap, Crackle, Pop' when you pour cornflakes on milk is the famous onomatopoeic slogan for the Rice Crispies cereal.
- 'Clunk Click, every trip'-this is a road safety slogan from a UK campaign which implies, click the seatbelt on after clunking the car door closed.
- The 'Dook dook' drinking sound effect is depicted in the web comicScary Go Round.
- 'Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, oh what a relief it is', an ad for Alka Seltzer tablets when dunked in water.
- In one issue of Punisher, 'funt' was used as the sound of a fired silenced pistol.
- Marvel Comicstrademarked two words of their own invention: 'thwip!' the sound of Spider-Man's web shooter and 'snikt!' which is the switchblade-sound of Wolverine's claws locking into place.
- In the Garfield comic strips, there is a running gag about a 'splut' which is the sound of a pie hitting someone's face.
- In The Transformers, the Autobot Warpath spoke with onomatopoeia in his speech, which included 'Zowie', 'Wham', 'Bang', 'Blam', 'Zing', 'Whack', 'Zack', 'Zorch', 'Zang', 'Woosh', 'Bam', 'Zoom', 'Zap', 'Boom', 'Kazowy', 'Wow', 'Clang', 'Pow', 'Zingo', and 'Boing' among others.
- From the 1968 movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang;
Jemimah: It's called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Truly Scrumptious: That's a curious name for a motorcar.
Jemimah: But that's the sound it makes. Listen.
It's saying chitty chitty, chitty chitty, chitty chitty, chitty chitty, chitty chitty, bang bang! chitty chitty ...
You have probably figured out the role that onomatopoeia plays in portraying feelings or expressions, to the extent that they are as effective as simple adjectives. Zip, zap and zooom!
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