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English-Language Onomatopoeia Words: Examples and Meaning

I am a website developer, eBay trading assistant, work-at-home mum, writer and crafter.



What Is Onomatopoeia?

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

Can you see a theme here?

It's called onomatopoeia. These are words that sound the same as their meanings. They imitate sounds associated with objects or actions. We use these words every day.

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

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

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

Onomatopoeic Words

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

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

So too are onomatopoeic 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

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 WorkAtHomeMums


joanne on June 15, 2020:

Very helpful okie

Dayna Chew on June 11, 2020:

Wow! It's very interesting!

Joanne on June 11, 2020:

The artwork is very cool

jascey yokushi on March 01, 2013:

very well helpful

shamelabboush on April 26, 2012:

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

WorkAtHomeMums (author) from Australia on April 25, 2012:

Thankyou so much.

Lizam1 on April 25, 2012:

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

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 25, 2012:

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