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What is Onomatopoeia?

Onomatopoeia is the use of the consonant and vowel sounds of a pronounced or "heard" word to imitate, and thereby emphasize or bring to a listener's or reader's imagination, the sounds that might actually be heard in what is being described.

In that way, it is a literary device used to make writing or speech more vibrant and effective. It depends on a listener's or reader's ability to hear the sounds of the words.

Many words are onomatopoeic in and of themselves, such as "snap", "scratch", or "zing". However, the sounds used in speech don't need to be so obvious in order to still constitute onomatopoeia.

Onomatopoeia on the Web

Onomatopoeia can be used on the Web to emphasize certain ideas, or to outright annoy your friends and colleagues. To assist in that regard, certain websites have been created that provide Onomatopoeia (actually, web sound effects) to lulzify otherwise boring conversation.

Feeding Your Inner Jackass

The following weblinks should provide plenty of amusement (at least at first).

WARNING: the following weblink will make people stop talking to you


Onomatopoeia is part of a series on Language & Communication
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