Nathanael Green's Blog

An advertising copywriter, novelist, and freelance writer's brain goo.

Posts Tagged ‘etymology

Buzz, Plop, Boom, Hiccup … Smush?

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Today’s topic: words that sound like stuff.

In my previous post, I mentioned how words are just random noises that don’t mean anything until we associate meaning with them. Now I’m going to talk about words that aren’t random noises.

Onomato … wha?plink

Onomatopoeia, pronounced like on-uh-mot-uh-pee-ah. It’s the word teachers keep in their arsenal during spelling bees for the kids they don’t like. But also, it’s when a word is created in association with the sound it’s describing.

Think of buzz and sizzle and plink. They’re real words, but they started with people imitating a sound.

Do you remember your kindergarten lessons? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Nathanael Green

April 29, 2009 at 9:53 am