English-Language Onomatopoeia Words: Examples and Meaning

Updated on October 12, 2017

Zip! Screech! Click! Clack! Snap Crackle Pop! Buzz! Chirp! Clang! Clap! Crackle! Hiss!

Can you see a theme here?

Onomatopoeia. Words that sound the same as their meanings. Words that imitate sounds associated with objects or actions. Words we use every day.

The English language is full of fun and interesting words and phrases, not to mention confusion.

Just like homophones, onomatopoeia words have more than one meaning, or sound in this case.

Bip Bop Bam Alacazam. Let's get into it.

Onomatopoeia Words

  • Create specific sounds or moods
  • Give your poems and plays some pizazz
  • When read aloud make your writing come alive

Onomatopoeia words are commonly used in comic strips and comic books. Their technique gives the reader an instant sound effect.

So too are onomatopoeia words used in almost every baby book. We teach our children their first words without even realising what they are: words that imitate animals, movement and sound.

Onomatopoeia, what a word!

It means every sound effect you've ever heard.

Ding, dong, ping, pong, clank, swoosh, crash, bang, crunch, zip, munch and sizzle. Crackle, hiss, zap, oink, splat, whiz, moo and achoo.

If you ever needed to add that extra zing to your story, article or hub, add a dash of this and a swoosh of that.

Don't just say it rained, let the thunder roar through the sky, clap, bang and rumble. When night falls, let the sky explode with a crash and a hissing of fireworks.

Don't just let the day start out as any ordinary day. Let the sun sizzle. The birds chirp. The fallen leaves rustle.

In your writing, let all your animals play a part. Give them a voice. Make them bark, bleat, croak, chirp, neigh, hiss and meow. Make little feet pitter patter across the floor. Let horns honk, beep and boom. Toys rattle, crash, jingle and jangle.

Onomatopoeia Examples

  • beep, boom, crunch and fizz
  • flutter, gasp, grrr, mash and moan
  • scratch, splash, spurt and swoosh
  • tinkle, tweet, whip and zoom
  • buzz, gurgle, pop and thud
  • smack, thump, groan and hum
  • shuffle, whisper, whistle and oink

Achoo. Bill sneezed as he dashed for the telephone. Ring Ring. Ring Ring. It was Betty. Her voice moaned and groaned. She was due to visit for tea however was unwell too and was snuggled up warm at home.

Saddened, Bill returned to the sofa and sat with a thump. The spring in his step had gone and was replaced with a slow shuffle.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.

Before he knew it, the sizzling sun was starting to set. His stomach grumbled. Time to eat. Snap crackle pop? No, something more nutritional was in order.

Bill rustled though the pantry. It was empty as usual. As the cuckoo clock sung out it's dazzling tune, Bill headed out the door to the shops.

Swish went the wipers on his car as he cleared the debris from the previous night's thunderous rain. The jingle jangle of his keys as his car drove over the bumpy potholes resembled an old tune he had long forgotten. It made him hum. It gave him a twinkle in his eye.

The shopping centre came into view. The trolley Bill chose was as bumpy and clanky as always. Grrr, will they ever get it right, he murmured to himself. As he strode down the aisles, Bill scratched his head trying to remember what he was there for.

Achoo. There was that sneeze again. The continuous weather change was not in Bill's favour. Crash! Bill bumped his clanky trolley into a stand of tomato soup cans. With a rumble and a smash, they went zig zag all over the shop floor. The buzzing chatter of the other shoppers grew louder. All eyes were upon him. Bill tried to hide his head in shame.

As he turned into the next aisle with a whiz, there was Betty, holding hands with Sam the butcher. Bill's heart thumped. Wasn't Betty sick? The flutter that he once felt when they made eye contact was gone.....

Onomatopoeia Examples
Onomatopoeia Examples


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    • profile image

      jascey yokushi 

      7 years ago

      very well helpful

    • shamelabboush profile image


      8 years ago

      This is very true. We studied this technique in college and it was fantastic.

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Australia

      Thankyou so much.

    • Lizam1 profile image


      8 years ago from Scotland

      Really well done - unique idea. I like how you created the art words too.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Interesting hub. I never gave much thought to those words, so I learned something new today. Voted up!


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