Search This Blog

Monday, April 18, 2011


Onomatopoeia: Using words to represent or mimic sounds. Out of context, many such words would be nonsense. Writers use them for artistic effect. Essentially, they add interest and allow a reader to "hear" what is happening rather than simply read a description of it.
An Example from Literature: The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

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...

My Try: Ka-clatticah, ka-clat, ka-clatti-clat-ti-clat-ti-kah. The screened door slapped furiously against its frame, as if wrestling itself from the hinges holding it in place. Klatti-ca-clatlclatclat. Netty ran into the front yard still grasping the letter and threw herself to her knees beneath the angry sky. Clouds roiled overhead and in the distance a low roar seemed to be building somewhere within the gut of the wind. She couldn't hear AnnaBelle Mae or her daddy yelling to her to come back in the house. They couldn't see what she held in her hand.

Onomatopoeia words are part of our common everyday language. Emeril Lugasse is, in fact, known for his signature BAM! What sound words do you frequently use?

(This blog post is brought to you as a part of the April A to Z Challenge.)

April 19th - Personification


welcome to my world of poetry said...

Excellent unusual word, thanks for the detailed explanation.


Ocean Girl said...

Thank you, this is excellent! Like tick, tock, tick, tock says the clock :)

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Clatter and Clack are two words of onomatopoeia that I used on a regular basis. There are probably others, but they're not springing to mind right now.

Pleasure to meet you via the A-Z Challenge!

Brianna said...

I love the sound of the word onomatopoeia! Can't wait to find out what the letter Netty's holding says!

Arlee Bird said...

I often use words and word combinations to imitate sounds. Usually I am more inclined to use actual words that suggest sounds rather than specific onomatopoeic words. I like the use of this device as long as it is subtle and not overly gimmicky or tacky.

Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

the writing pad said...

I love thwump, as in the sound of a ball on a cricket bat.
Thanks for the explanation, and the further part of Netty's story.
All best

Crystal Pistol said...

Oh I LOVE onomatakjgkjuguixz! It's like akuna mata... ?

My fave example I use in my own writing is , BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

I should probably branch out but BLAM! often says it best. :)

Ann Best said...

Love the word! First discovered it years ago when I was deep into poetry.

Glad I found your blog as I browsed through the A to Z list. Humor isn't easy to do. Likewise catchy titles that you've managed so beautifully with: If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny. I love it!
Ann Carbine Best, Long Journey Home

Susie Swanson said...

I've never discovered the word, but I have now. Thanks for the explanation. Susie

m said...

I used "smack" and "thwack" in an article about marriage last year. Curious?

There was an error in this gadget