Onomatopoeia

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Onomatopoeia refers to words, many of them used as verbs, we use to imitate or describe the sound of animal noises, such as "oink" and "quack" or machinery, such as "tick tock".

Students are often surprised to find that sounds/words they take for granted are universal - just because it's so clear to them in L1 - do not always correspond exactly to the English version.

Other common English-language examples include the verbs and nouns "hiccup", "zoom", "bang", "zap", "beep", "splash" and "burp".

Onomatopoeia are easily remembered and have been used as mnemonics in publicity and advertising campaigns for road safety ("clunk click, every trip" - referring to the "click" of the seatbelt after the "clunk" of the car door)[1] or for Rice Krispies cereals ("snap, crackle, pop").[2]

References[edit]

  1. The National Archives: Public Information Films "Clunk Click – Shopping with Jimmy Savile"
  2. Kelloggs

See also[edit]

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