April 17, 2012

Onomatopoeia = O: Blogging from A to Z

I am a word nerd; I say it loud and proud. Words have the amazing ability, when strung together properly, to inspire and ignite. The fact that we've made up new words throughout the years to represent sounds and feelings is inspiring (unless that new word is irregardless, but that's another subject!).

Onomatopoeia: [on-uh-mat-uh-pee-uh, ‐mah-tuh]  1. the formation of a word, as cuckoo, meow, honk, or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent. 2. a word so formed. 3. the use of imitative and naturally suggestive words for rhetorical, dramatic, or poetic effect.

There's the obvious buzz, wham, tick tock and then there's the pure joy I get from even saying the word. Onomatopoeia rolls off the tongue like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and simply makes me happy. Someone really should honor the word with a song (don't worry, it won't be me) and the melody it inspires.

It already brings to life so many of our favorite nursery rhymes like Baa Baa Black Sheep and Old MacDonald. What Mom has not spent countless hours perfecting her perfect woof, moo, meow, and quack? And to honor O, there's ouch, ow, and oink.

Now that my children are getting older and approaching the teenage years at a rate I cannot control or slow, I have new appreciation for onomatopoeia. Words like mumble, huff, huh, hiss, growl, chatter, screech, sniff, ugh, whisper, and so on.

What's your favorite example of onomatopoeia?

*****

O down, eleven more to go P to Z.
Thanks for joining me!

Find some other great O bloggers here.

6 comments:

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Oh! I remember the first time my english teacher taught this in school. I'm fascinated.


Elizabeth
A to Z co-host

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I'm a word nerd, too. (Is this some sort of a twelve-step program?) And I love onomatopoeia, both the word itself and the other words it defines. Favorite examples? Ooh, hard to pick, but how about kerplop, kapow, and oom-pah-pah?

Unknown said...

Elizabeth, All day I've been thinking in word-sounds. So fun!

Susan, I don't want the cure! And I love kerplop and kerpow. Wish I had thought of them for K. ;-)

Fairview said...

Does Bada-bing Bada-boom qualify as onomatopoeia?

Julie Glover said...

Having boys, I've become ultra-aware of onomatopaeia. Boys love to crash, boom, bang, roar, and so much more. It's fun to hear what they come up with. Great post!

Unknown said...

Fairview, In my house it is. ;-)

Julie, I totally understand. I have active girls, so I get the grumbles and the boom-bangs.