Talk:Onomatopoeia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Poetry (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Poetry, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Poetry on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Linguistics / Etymology  (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Linguistics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Linguistics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Etymology Task Force.
 

Contents

Mwah[edit]

It's my understanding that "mwah" isn't an onomatopoeia, but literally just the sound of a kiss. If anyone agrees, please change. Rewguy (talk) 19:25, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

That representation of the sound of a kiss is precisely what an onomatopoeia is. Mwah is one of the possible onomatopoeias in English, not in other languages. Antoncampos (talk) 14:11, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Mwah is NOT the sound of a kiss!!! Are you kidding?!? Say it! Then kiss somebody... now, does sound ANYTHING alike??! NO! Really??? (If it WAS, then it would be "moi" in French!) SOME SOUNDS CAN NOT BE PUT INTO WORDS. Djjonnyd (talk) 19:41, 11 May 2012 (UTC)DJJONNYD

Vandalism[edit]

I don't know how to change it myself, can someone please take out the vandalism and useless profanity? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.203.172.148 (talk) 02:45, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Define the word 'profanity'. 'Profanity' as you call it is not always 'useless'. Profanity is very useful. Most people who aren't total robotic prats understand this. You're asking for a qualifier of censorship here; Wikipedia would and should never allow anything so immature.

Human sounds[edit]

Tere are a lot of articles, like ho ho ho that are claimed to be onomatopetic. To me it doesn't feel as if they belong. Does anyone else feel that textual renditions of human laughter are just plain interjections and nothing else?

Peter Isotalo 11:54, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Same with "zzz", the sound of sleeping. -Arctic.gnome 17:40, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Curious thing about "zzz"; it's not a British English term. On this side of the Atlantic we have no textual representation of the sound of snoring.--King Hildebrand 09:10, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm British, and I see it around. In The Beano, for example.Kombucha 07:01, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, there is the British English expression "to catch a few zeds", i.e., to go to sleep, using the British English name for the letter that in American English is called a zee.
Nuttyskin (talk) 12:59, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

In Anglo American Culture: Is Imitating Sounds considered Childish or Foreign sounding?[edit]

I'm from the US and came back afterliving overseas for many years (Italy as well as a number of other countries). I find that when I have a conversation if I imitatate sounds or noises people look at me like its a bit strange. Maybe I've been overseas too long,and don't remember my own culture.

Question: Would anyone say that in Anglo - American culture, occassonally imitating sounds to describe something ((like making a dog noise, a woosh sound, or a choo choo noise for instance) childish or foreign sounding in an informal conversation in anyone's opinion? Maybe this should be mentioned on the Wikipdiea page. Also have any studies been done on this topic? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.93.10.131 (talk) 03:52, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Common Words Derived from Onomatopoeia[edit]

This article mainly deals with words that are directly seen as onomatopoeia, but what of words of such common usage that their onomatopoeic roots are not as evident? I am reminded of words such as "whisper", "murmer", and "delicate"; should these words be included in the scope of this article? Bobryuu 20:07, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

"Ouch" is NOT Onomatopoeia[edit]

I get redirected to this page from the entry "ouch." It is even the only article linked to if you type "define:ouch" into google.

This is wrong. "Ouch" is NOT an example of onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia refers to words based on sounds, like crunch or ring or grrr.Their pronunciation rests upon universal vocal abilities of humans.Human expression of pain isn't a sound; it varies from one language to the next. "Ouch" or "ow" is what English speakers say when they're in pain; speakers of other languages use other words that sound a little different due to genetic differences in vocal pronunciations. (This is as opposed to things like laughter or crying, where the representation of these sounds may vary from one language to the next, but the sounds themselves are pretty much the same among all human beings regardless of what language they speak. Ha ha and waaa are examples of onomatopoeia; ouch is not.)

Still, how do I go about editing the page to remove "ouch" from the list of words that get redirected to this article? marbeh raglaim 03:42, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree and removed the redirect by reverting to a version with just the wiktionary link. To edit a redirect page you can just click on the "redirected from ..." link at the top of the page you get redirected to. Then you'll see the redirect and can edit it as a normal page. See also Wikipedia:Redirect for everything you'd ever want to know about redirects on wikipedia. Shanes 03:58, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

As an English Lit teacher, I agree completely. Thank you for clarifying. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 189.202.124.124 (talk) 01:59, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

actually, onomatopoeia refers to all words that suggest a sound. look it up — Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.106.224.160 (talk) 23:33, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Photo of a ball going "whack"?[edit]

I move that the image be deleted from the article. The illustration really doesn't add anything to it; it seems pure foofaraw. Matt Gies 19:26, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

In what way does the image not add anything to the article? It illustrates the concept. Admittedly the image could be improved, but that doesn't merit obliteration. One flaw is that it isn't clear what she doing (bowling?).—jiy (talk) 03:08, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps I'll be accused of having a dirty mind, but I have to ask this question: what is that flesh colored thing between the woman's legs... they appear strikingly like testicles and when I was redirected to this page I was extremely shocked. This should not be so. That picture should be removed for the sake of decency. Said picture has been edited. However, it's still pointless and should be flat out removed. It is for those who say somthing does have a purpose to say what that purpose is.
Thanatosimii 01:39, 3 February 2006 (UTC)Ps I'm a **** ******!!!
I agree, it doesn't help the article much. As for the earlier version, that was vandalism by Dragon Sand (talk · contribs) which was reverted by Pixeltoo; I've removed the vandalised picture. — mark 18:56, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Introduction[edit]

I removed the following:

  • "Onomatopoeia, from the Greek word meaning "name-making", for the sounds literally make the meaning in such words as buzz, crash, whirr, clang, hiss, purr, squeak, mumble, hush, boom."

As it is not a complete sentence. Hyacinth 11:30, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes it is. Although, ironically, As it is not a complete sentence is not a complete sentence.
Nuttyskin (talk) 13:04, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Even though this was years ago, I wanted to point out:
  1. The OP was correct..."Onomatopoeia, from the Greek word meaning "name-making", for the sounds literally make the meanings in such words as..." is absolutely NOT a complete sentence - it's an incredibly poorly written sentence fragment. (Though I do hope OP didn't just remove the text; it's always better to rephrase than delete.) Also...
  2. The OP's comment actually IS a complete sentence. Look at it this way: "I removed the following [information], as it is not a complete sentence." The only error there was capitalizing the "a" in "as."
(I am the ultimate grammar nazi.) ocrasaroon| blah blah blah 04:04, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Forigen language onomatopoeia[edit]

Here is a list of Japanese onomatopoeia: web.mit.edu/anime/www/onomatopoeia.html here.

Okay, any idea where the randomly censored words came from? -Unnatural20 --198.138.132.2 08:39, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Eek vs. Eep[edit]

How is "eep" not onomatopieaic but "eek" is? According to dictionary.reference.com/search?q=onomatopoeia dictionary.com: onomatopoeia is "the formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to". "Eek" is an expression. So is "eep". Both are sounds produced by the human mouth. Both are associated with objects or actions (in this case, reactions to objects: mouse for "eek", and anything for "eep"). "Eep" has made it into the vernacular as a valid expression, as any Google search will show... -Eep² 18:12, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

You're right, I've deleted "eek" from the list (I already noted in the edit summary of my last pruning attempt that I was sure I missed a lot). On your reasoning, note that "reactions to objects" are quite different from "objects". This is why, in scholarly literature on the subject, interjections like 'eep' and 'eek' aren't considered onomatopoeic. And that is also the reason I recently removed a lot of non-onomatopoeic words from the article here. As I further noted in my edit summary: if words like that are going to be called onomatopoeic, this article is utterly pointless.
You might try interjection instead, but if you ask me, your crusade for the inclusion of Eep in Wikipedia is without merit in the end. — mark 18:27, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
What "scholarly" papers? The definition is "associated with the objects or actions they refer to". "Eek" is associated with the reaction (doing an action over again) to the object of a mouse, for example. "Eep" is associated with the reaction to the object of whatever it is one is reacting to ("Eep, you scared me!"). How aren't these onomatopieaic?
My "crusade" has plenty of merit since I believe in it! Sheesh! You act like the Wikipedia is some end-all be-all tome of universal knowledge, or something. Or, perhaps, you'd rather it be some stuffy collection of so-called "proper, scholarly" articles only people with an advanced literature degree (in BS) could understand. That's not the Net...and it's not Wikipedia so it would be nice if people like you would loosen up and learn to accept knowledge in ALL its forms and mediums.
Anyway, thanks for the interjection lead; Eep falls under that classification too. -Eep² 18:54, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
The sound one makes in reaction to something is just that: a sound. The word 'eek' doesn't stand for the action of being scared; if anything does, it would in this context more likely be the words 'being scared'.
On your apparent contempt for "scholarly" sources, see Wikipedia:Reliable sources, Wikipedia:Cite your sources and Wikipedia:Verifiability.
On 'knowledge in ALL its forms and mediums', see What Wikipedia is not. — mark 08:37, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I never said "eek" stood for the action of being scared; I said "eek" is associated with the reaction to the object of a mouse. In other words, again, "Eek! A mouse!" is a reaction that associates surprise/fright/fear of the object (mouse). From the en.wiktionary.org/wiki/onomatopoeia Wiktionary onomatopoeia entry: "Of a word, having the property that it sounds like what it represents." Obviously "eek" and "eep" meet this definition. "Eek!"/"eep!" represent one expressing surprise at something and sound exaxtly how they're spelled. Again, how aren't they onomatopieiaic? -Eep² 16:52, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I'll explain. Your use of 'being associated with' blurs the picture; it is only associated with that reaction in a causal way, not in a representational way. Now, we agree that 'eek' is the sound some people make when something like a mouse scares them. This is why 'eek' qualifies as an interjection. However, 'eek' does not represent 'one expressing surprise at something'; if it did, I could use 'eek' to refer to someone expressing surprise at something, and that is not how 'eek' is normally used. Or is it?
In other words, we do not use the word 'eek' when we are referring to the reaction to a mouse: 'eek' just is that reaction. That's why it might be called an interjection, and why it fails being onomatopoeic: onomatopoeia are words that resemble the thing they stand for. Again, 'eek' doesn't stand for, it doesn't represent, it just is the sound one makes in that situation.
According to your line of reasoning, I think 'help' (in the cry for help-sense) would also be an onomatopoeia: to mirror your words, it is 'associated with the reaction of one being in a problematic situation', it 'represents one expressing helplessness'. Isn't it? It's not onomatopoeic, however, because it actually doesn't represent that cry for help, it just is that cry. In the same way, 'eek' is clearly associated with being scared (I'd never dispute that); however, the fact that it is used by someone who is scared does not make it refer to one's being scared.
And that's the whole point about onomatopoeia: that they are words that somehow resemble the things they stand for (or 'refer to', or 'represent'). — mark 18:00, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Pruning[edit]

I just finished my second round of pruning the list of examples, which had become unwieldy and erroneous (it still is!). I removed many 'words' that are in fact just transcribed sounds and not really conventionalized linguistic signs; the difference between those and real onomatopoeia is partly outlined in my posting above. It is a difference which probably should be outlined in the article. — mark 21:02, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Can anyone find a reference to support this more restrictive definition of the term? If I find one, I will present it here, and, if I have the time, revise the article to reflect it. - Torgo 08:07, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Virtually any good overview of semiotics will have something like that. I think Keller's A Theory of Semiotic Knowledge (1996) is a good one; I'll look it up. — mark 08:18, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

IPA[edit]

The Hindi example near the top of the article (and perhaps all other foreign words in this article, given the subject of the article) needs to be transcribed in IPA, to replace the non-standard pronunciation guide given. I know IPA, but I don't know Hindi... could someone who does, or the person who added these examples please do that? (pretty sure IPA is the wikipedia standard for pronunciation) Torgo 08:11, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Indeed the IPA transcript or a sound record for every example are the only way that all these long lists make sense. I would encourage editors to enforce this policy here. Some resources can be found in the wiktionaries; // and [ ] can be unified to [ ], see IPA#Usage. --Ersaloz (talk) 17:13, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Continue at Talk:Cross-linguistic onomatopoeias#IPA --Ersaloz (talk) 18:09, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Speech as onomatopoeia[edit]

Is speech considered onomatopoeia to written language? M2K e 23:29, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

It isn't, since speech is not 'motivated' by written language the way the sound of an onomatopoeia is motivated by what it refers to. — mark 05:33, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

vc cfddfvvvvvvvvvvvvvvdss —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.182.51.238 (talk) 21:26, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Cleanup, and new page[edit]

The list of "Everyday Sounds" has grown grotesquely large, so I have been bold and moved a large number of them to a new article titled List of Onomatopoeias. Maybe the list can be trimmed down even more. Anyways, I think an encyclopedia should have more of a definition and explanation than a full run down of the examples, save for a few... In fact, I think maybe the examples should be moved down a couple of sections...? Two-Bit Sprite 13:32, 19 June 2006 (UTC)


"very common English-language examples"[edit]

Can these really be classed as "very common"? I, for one, have never come across them before.

Queef - moved to "list of..." already
Ding-Dong-Diddly-Poof
Boosh.

Is "hush" onomatopoeia at all? It is used to express an absence of sound, not a sound that sounds like hush. Perhaps it should be moved into non-auditory onomatopoeia, though the concept seems to me to be oxymoron.

I've re-spelled "cukoo" as "cuckoo". Maybe the former is the American spelling, in which case I apologise.

This list is inevitably going to be contentious. Why not move the whole thing to "list of..."?

King Hildebrand 09:35, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Comics[edit]

Is anybody actually going to create articles entitled, "Whaam!", "Blam" or "Snikt"? If not (as seems probable) the links should be removed. --King Hildebrand 09:53, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

"Traditional, original spelling"[edit]

Why the insistance on the ligature? Shouldn't the most common spelling be used?

Peter Isotalo 08:10, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, in fact the Wikipedia naming convention requires that the most common form be used even if it is less offically correct. I recently lost a battle over "microcode" vs. "microprogram" over that. --Brouhaha 07:34, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was Move. --Brouhaha 23:44, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

OnomatopœiaOnomatopoeia – use most common spelling, required as per the Wikipedia naming convention

Survey[edit]

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~
  • Support - Wikipedia naming conventions require use of most common form, which clearly does NOT include a ligature. A redirect from the with-ligature spelling is sufficient. --Brouhaha 07:39, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Support, unless we're The New Yorker. --Dhartung | Talk 10:55, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Support, I'm not sure there are any English words that are spelled more commmonly with ligatures. Recury 17:10, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Add any additional comments
There's nothing to vote on as far as I can tell. The move to onomatopœia was made without discussion or any attempt to seek consensus and the naming convention seem to be very clear about which spelling should be used.
I've gone ahead and moved the page.
Peter Isotalo 15:20, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Arbitrary sounds?[edit]

Stating that onomatopoeia have "a very tenuous relationship with the object they describe" is an arbitrary and rather subjective description since they all are attempts to render the sound of an object or action within the somewhat confined borders of human language. Onomatopoeia in various languages are intended to imitate a specific sound and aren't just random concoctions of phonemes. The onomatopoeia representing a dog can't be be confused with "meow", "squeak" or "cock-a-doodle-doo" which proves rather well that there's some form of intent behind it. Comparing with the actual sound made by a dog is pointless since it can never be imitated with the standard phonology of any language. The fact that dogs sound different in French, German and Chinese doesn't make the words less imitative.

Peter Isotalo 12:55, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

All sounds have tenuous relationships with the objects they describe, except for onomatopoeia, where they are only slightly less tenous, IMHO. --Kjoonlee 12:58, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
But also consider this: Japanese uses kirakira, Korean uses banjjakbanjjak, and English (according to the Simpsons) uses bling-bling to describe shiny stuff. Now that points out a very tenuous relationship between words and meanings, doesn't it? --Kjoonlee 13:03, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

I reverted some edits by User:Twobitsprite. All sound-meaning relationships are tenuous; just look at dal, tsuki, moon, and lune. (Korean, Japanese, English, and French.)

About native speakers not being curious about sounds and sense: do you remember the first time you heard bling bling? Haven't you ever thought that bow wow was really lame compared to woof woof? --Kjoonlee 01:02, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

The discussion concerns onomatopoeia, not just random words in random languages. Neither of the words for "moon" are as far as I know onomatopoetic. The etymology of "moon" lies in an Indo-European root[1] with the meaning "to measure" and lune is from another IE root[2] meaning "light, brightness". I don't know the etymologies for the Korean and Japanese words, but I wouldn't be surprised if they also originated from words meaning "to measure" or "light". While I have no idea how the roots themselves got their phonetic structure, the reason for the words having their current form is anything but random.
I can't see that this is anything but your own personal interpretation, Kjoon. You're reverting both mine and Twobitsprite's attempts to render the statement neutral by simply repeating your arguments over and over and inserting the exact same subjective wording. In my case I think that most, if not all, onomatopoeia makes absolutely perfect sense unless you take up an overly critical stance. There are even entirely unrelated languages with very different phonologies that still have eerily similar renditions of animal sounds. Onomatopoeia are not random combinations of sounds or they would simply not be recognized by native speakers. How tenuous their relationship is to the object or action they imitate is obviously subjective.
Peter Isotalo 10:54, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
To me it seems as if "the assertion that the previous description was not neutral" is seriously POV. That's why I've been reverting. And I don't see why my wording is any less objective. IMHO onomatopoeia is just as arbitrary as any other kinds of words, and adding bits about "native speakers never questioning" onomatopoeia to be like adding legs to a drawing of a snake, to quote Korean idiom. --Kjoonlee 12:23, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
If onomatopoeia were entirely arbitrary then they could never be classified as onomatopoeia since no one would have a clue that they imitated sounds. And still it's quite obvious to native speakers and scholars alike that they are imitations. Phonology is also still not just the arbitrary grouping of clusters of sounds. The oldest origins might be unclear, but there are many historical changes and derivations of other words that follow quite predictable rules and formulas. Just the mere fact that Proto-Indo-European is a language that has been reconstructed through phonetic theory is reason enough to discard the idea that words are simply random creations.
If you feel that the current wording is too subjective, please amend it, but please try not to simply reinsert your own opinion once more. There is always the option of simply describing onomatopoeia of the same objects or actions in different languages as being highly varied, as I tried doing from the onset. This would be a completely neutral observation of a very obvious fact.
Peter Isotalo 14:05, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Non-auditory onomatopoeia[edit]

I think this section should be brought back. "There's no such thing as a black swan." Wrong. There are black swans in Australia, and non-auditory onomatopoeia exists in Korean and Japanese. --Kjoonlee 01:46, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

This is basically correct. I have no info on Korean specifically, but Japanese has a feature that according to David Crystal in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language is called "manner imitation" (擬態語 gitaigo). This refers to "feelings and figurative expressions about objects and natural surroundings, in which sounds play no part." It's also much more commonly used than is the case with most, if not all, European languages.
The examples of manner imitation given are:
  • tobotobo; "plod"
  • furafura; "roam"
  • kirakira; "twinkle"
  • betabeta; "stick to"
  • dabudabu; "baggy, loose"
-Peter Isotalo 11:09, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
The OED lists onomatopoeia imitating other senses as its second definition: "2. The use of echoic or suggestive language, esp. onomatopes, for rhetorical effect. Occas. in Music: the use of imitative or echoic instrumentation, rhythms, etc." One example is "2001 Church Times 1 June 30/2 Even the rhythms feel Brittenesque, and the punchy onomatopoeia of the last section..even more so." I think there is some justification for describing this additional sense of the word in the article ptkfgs 11:18, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if this is the proper article to describe this rather marginal definition of onomatopoeia, but you should certainly add the definition to the wiktionary article.
Peter Isotalo 11:30, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

The very problem of this article is that it starts from an English-inspired definition of onomatopoeia (see also WP:LPOV), and from that perspective the phenomenon of non-auditory onomatopoeia definitely sounds somewhat exotic. It isn't that exotic at all however. Ideophone is what you guys are looking for. Many African languages also have words that, in Doke's wording, are something like a 'a vivid representation of an idea in sound'. The phenomenon seems indeed more common in a lot of non-European languages. For a good recent collection of papers on this issue, see the following reference:

  • Voeltz, F.K. Erhard & Kilian-Hatz, Christa (eds.) (2001). Ideophones. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

mark 08:25, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Bring it back! I cite http://www.overheardinnewyork.com/archives/005358.html> as justification. --Berck (who doesn't know how to work wikipedia talk pages correctly.)

Non-auditory onomatopoeia is not onomatopoeia. Yes, there is a cultural/linguistic element to why, for example, animal sounds are transliterated according to particular conventions in one language or another; but the Japanese examples quoted aren't anything whatsoever to do with a sound being made by the target object. They are more like an exercise in reduplication, and I move they be transferred to that page.
Nuttyskin (talk) 13:15, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
That this is incorrect can be proven by the wealth of words which could be both literal sounds or descriptions of manner; for example, ドキドキ is literally the sound of a heart beating, but it can also just be an adverb meaning "nervously" Casey J. Morris (talk) 03:11, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I am pretty sure 'twinkle' as in "twinkle twinkle little star" is a non-auditory onomatopoeia, right? ~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aether22 (talkcontribs) 22:13, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

203.59.221.18's contribution[edit]

User:203.59.221.18 added a text intended to illustrate onomatopoeia ("Running From……") . I reverted it the first time around, because IMO the contribution doesn't add anything significant to the article. The text has been added again. I wont revert this time but leave it up to other editors to decide. Even if it stays, it shouldn't be placed under the section "Onomatopoeic Names", and the line "Written by Charlotte Bennett, Year 6" definitely doesn't belong here either. ---Sluzzelin 06:22, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Pruning (again)[edit]

I've again pruned the article and also tried to improve the flow of the text a bit. Let's abandon the lists, they attract bad and uninformed "Oh, I know one too"-edits which degrade the quality of the article. If you want a list, you can go to wikt:Category:Onomatopoeia (it may be a good idea to put a link to that category in the article). Let's focus on writing a real good article instead, based on reliable and preferably scholarly sources. — mark 08:47, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Add link if you want to[edit]

http://muse.jhu.edu/cgi-bin/access.cgi?uri=/journals/new_literary_history/v027/27.3bredin.html

Hmm, one needs a subscription to read that article so for must readers it's inaccessible. — mark 08:09, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

--70.161.212.230 23:40, 13 December 2006 (UTC) I love you Alex dawe. Your my dawe baby.

Maori animals[edit]

"Some animals are named after the sounds they make, especially birds such as the cuckoo and chickadee. In Tamil, the word for crow is Kaakaa. This practice is especially common in certain languages such as Māori and therefore in names for birds borrowed from these languages."

"this practice" refers to naming animals after the sounds they make, not "especially birds", so I changed the last line to reflect that--"in names for animals borrowed from these languages." If in fact, bird names and not animal names in general are borrowed from languages high on onomatopoeic animal names, just revert me. TStein 10:58, 25 December 2006 (UTC) blah blah blah

Fap[edit]

'Onomatopoeia... is a word, or occasionally, a grouping of words, that imitates the sound it is describing, and thus suggests its source object, such as "bang", "boom" "click" or "fap".'

Is it really necessary to include "fap" as an example?Kombucha 07:01, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I think it's a schlick example... 惑乱 分からん 19:21, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Go Bears!!!
fap is also used sexually to refer to masturbation in venues such as anonymous porn uploading sites. Kombucha's expression of reluctance above may be an example of public discomfort mentioning this. it's one of those appropriate in an encyclopedia things. it should be ok, if worded properly. Nastajus 17:08, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Actually 'fap' was first used in the english translation of a comic called Heartbroken Angels. It was further popularized by the webcomic Sexy Losers. -Annon-3 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 74.106.221.56 (talk) 19:21, 14 April 2007 (UTC).
Fap is used to represent a variety of sound effectes other than masturbation in Viz's translation of Strain. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 74.106.221.56 (talk) 16:28, 29 April 2007 (UTC).

Verbs as onomatopoeia[edit]

Shouldn't there be some paragraph about the use of verbs as onomatopoeia ? It is only mentionned for animals, but it can also be seen for human sounds like "yawn" or the above masturbation verb, or even in some comics where verbs such as "change", "pounce" or "explode" are being increasingly common... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 193.252.7.34 (talk) 14:26, 5 April 2007 (UTC).

Chinese[edit]

Of all the great choices for Chinese onomatopoeia, wangwang for dog barking? I don't think so...if anything, the word for dog, "gou" 狗, is an onomatopoeia. At the very least, that needs a citation. In the meantime, I'll put a different, more believable one in there. Also, here's a short list of other onomatopoeia:

  • 喵, miao, the sound a cat makes
  • 猫, mao, a cat
  • 顶, ding, (archaic) to strike a bell
  • 叮, ding, sound a struck bell makes
  • 乎, hu, exhale
  • 呼, hu, sound of exhaling
  • 吸, xi, inhale / sound of inhaling
  • (?) 屙, e, going to the bathroom (?)

.<spetz>.72.76.248.151 23:46, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

why is the word pronounced differntly then spelled, you ask?? well, thats because mrs.mergler said so.

Then again, if the Korean for a dog barking is mang mang, it's probable that the Chinese for it is wang wang.<spetz>.72.76.248.151 23:05, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
And Japanese "Wan Wan". 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 11:37, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

List of Onomatopoeias[edit]

It might make more sense to have the list of onomatopoeias at the beginning of the article be onomatopoeia for the same thing, to illustrate how different they can be, which is mentioned at the top of the list. "Onomatopoeic words exist in every language, although they are different in each. For example:" implies that this will demonstrate the difference (which would probably be valuable), but instead most of the onomatopoeias are for different things. Just a thought. 128.253.71.37 20:52, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Uselessness and pomp[edit]

This article and it's associated talk page demonstrate very well how so-called 'scholarly' discourses on something can be completely devoid of any useful information, and how a lot of wankers can rely heavily on said discourses to occupy their time and make no other real use of bandwidth.

I came here hoping to see *something* said about the onomatpoeical origins of many words. The closest so much as a phrase I could find was the but claiming that the word 'fart' was not onomatopoeical, but that its indo-european origin was. What? It still sounds like what it represents, so it still is.

Having a predecessor, if the onomatopeoical nature of the word is preserved throughout the word's evolution, does not sudden;y make it stop being onomatopoeia, for $deity\'s sake. 'Bang' and 'rip' both have older cognates, still sound like the sounds made by what they represent, and so are still onomatopoeia.

Less people acting like big wankers would make wikipedia a more useful resource.75.28.41.156 00:07, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

It never pays to tell people you think they are intellectual masturbators, even if that's exactly what they are; they tend to object noisily. But I agree in principle with what you say. Especially about fart: I don't think the IE original is in any way onomatopoeic, but fart most certainly is. I'd even argue that, English being an onomatopoeia-rich and -fond language, the onomatopoeia-worthiness of the word fart may actually have been encouraged by this tendency we have to make our words "work".
Nuttyskin (talk) 13:26, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Onomatopoeia-rich??? There are maybe 120-140 'ideophones' in English, and more lexicalized forms. But 'rich'? Japanese has thousands. Over dialects of Gbaya, an African language some consider to be a member of the Niger-Congo stock (others dispute this) from Cameroon and the Central African Republic, there may be hundreds of thousands, far in excess of normal words, which are shared between dialects to a much, much greater degree. English, my caboose! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.225.81.137 (talk) 21:42, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Japanese[edit]

"wan-wan, bau-bau, or kyan-kyan in Japanese"

wan-wan is the only one I've heard. kyan-kyan is "yelp" or "yap" rather than "bark". —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.29.243.206 (talk) 14:55, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Following that comment, and the one in Chinese, how on earth is "wan-wan" an onomatopoeia? What kind of dog makes that noise when barking? This all smells of original research to me. 87.194.162.201 (talk) 18:05, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

How can the same sound be represented by "woof," "arf," and "bark?" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Casey J. Morris (talkcontribs) 03:14, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Wan-wan is the accepted Japanese onomatopoeia for a barking dog, though it often sounds strange to native English speakers. Trying saying it like a short angry bark and it is a bit more clear. It is certainly not original research. Jim Breen's WWWJDIC (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1C), for example, includes it as "bow-wow." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.102.61.204 (talk) 04:09, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

There can't be "katchin" in proper rōmaji, because the japanese language doesn't allow "t" and "c" right next to each other. There's "ta" (た), "te" (て), "chi", (ち), "to" (と) and "tsu" (つ) - but never in the world is there a "tchi". I request the "t" to be removed from the Japanese example of "katchin katchin" - it's most likely "kachin kachin", because there is no "ti" or "tsi" or "tchi" in the Japanese language (or "katuchin katuchin", if you really want to keep the "t"). Too bad the page can't be edited directly, even with an account - I could have fixed that error quickly. It's awful when people who have learned incorrect rōmaji edit wikipedia pages, and then those edits become 'locked'. In effect, you have locked a mistake in a glass casing for everyone to see.

As for 'bau bau', I have also never heard that one, but 'wan wan' is very common. In fact, the Japanese seem a bit surprised to hear "bow-wow" being the english equivalent. "Kyan-Kyan" sounds almost like "Nyan Nyan", which is a sound that a cat makes, not a dog. It also sounds like "Kyaa!", which is a common word for screaming.

Barbarians[edit]

Barbarian, barbarous, and the like have their roots in the Latin word barbarus which was an onomatopoeia for how they perceived the language of foreigners. To to Romans, when they heard foreigners speak it sounded like "bar bar bar bar . . . ". I think this is one of the funner onomatopoeias and would like to see it included in the page but I can't decide on a suitable place for it. If anyone can find an appropriate way of including it, please feel free to do so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.36.149.75 (talk) 08:37, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Wasn't it the Greeks who considered foreigners barbaric? 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 13:56, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
actually no, it was the Romans, who were clean-shaven. the word 'barbarian' comes from the Latin for beard (cf. English barber), and comes from the widespread feeling in Ancient Rome that all "uncivilised" societies went unshaven. the Greeks were an honourable exception as the Romans came to highly regard Greek accomplishments in philosophy and the sciences, and arts, and to be able to afford a Greek tutor for one's children was considered a sign of material success. 88.105.207.250 (talk) 00:10, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
No, it was the Greeks, I assure you. The Greek for (as we would say in British English) "Bloody foreigners!" is hoi barbaroi from the burring of their weird-sounding speech. If it is related to the Latin words barba, beard, and barbatus, bearded (and I'm not sure it is), then it's from Greek usage into Latin, not the other way around. Although as a name, Barbara (the she-barbarian) is a Roman invention, probably because foreign women were quite attractive in an exotic way.
Nuttyskin (talk) 13:43, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

bar·ba·rism (bär'bə-rĭz'əm) n.

  1. An act, trait, or custom characterized by ignorance or crudity.
  2.
        1. The use of words, forms, or expressions considered incorrect or unacceptable.
        2. A specific word, form, or expression so used.


[Latin barbarismus, use of a foreign tongue or of one's own tongue amiss, barbarism, from Greek barbarismos, from barbarizein, to behave or speak like a barbarian, from barbaros, non-Greek, foreign (imitative of the sound of unintelligible speech).] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Casey J. Morris (talkcontribs) 03:18, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Onomatopoeic English[edit]

I'm looking for the information about English being an onomatopoeic language itself, i.e. its words are the onomatopoeic expressions, like for example cough - the sound of cough or swamp - the sound of stomping in the swampy ground, ect. Somehow I don't believe nobody noticed it before, so I am sure there are some works (linguistic ect.) about it. Anyone could help?

Crow Calling Japanese[edit]

  • Hiragana or Katakana should be added, and I'm imagining Ahoo is supposed to be Ahou, or Ahouou, so accent marks should be added above it to indicate its a long vowel. Same with Kaa Kaa and Gaa Gaa.Moocowsrule (talk) 05:16, 22 September 2008 (UTC)Moocowsrule

Ancient Greek frogs[edit]

The quoted sound brekekekex koax koax occurs only in Aristophanes' comedy The Frogs - I felt this needed adding as it would otherwise leave the impression that it was in widespread use in Attic Greek, which it actually wasn't; it is simply a literary invention.

Actually it is brekekex, not brekekekex. For some reason an extra -ke has been inserted in the translations. Literary invention or not, it is still used in modern Greek, even if it is rarely written, something that strengthens the argument that it was widespread in antiquity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.24.221.92 (talk) 13:39, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Example of modern pronunciation of sheep noise[edit]

"One example is English "bleat" for the sheep noise: in medieval times it was pronounced approximately as "blairt" (but without an R-component), or "blet" with the vowel drawled, which is much more accurate as onomatopoeia than the modern pronunciation."

I suggest a "(baaaah)" or something similar at the end of this paragraph, to provide an example of the modern pronunciation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 142.92.60.20 (talk) 14:07, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Zipper[edit]

The section references the name zipper as being because of the sound it makes, calling it an onomatopoeic name. The zipper article does not back this up; the incorrect reference should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cinnabarite (talkcontribs) 22:44, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Agatomi, 21 June 2010[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} Please add this external link:

Agatomi (talk) 19:11, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Not done: Welcome and thanks for wanting to improve the article, but our guidelines on external links specifically prohibits links to sites requiring Flash. Celestra (talk) 19:49, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Tick-tock in the lead section[edit]

The lead section offered, as examples of cross-language differences, English tick-tock, Dutch tik tak, and French tic-tac. While these do differ, they differ only slightly. I have replaced the Dutch and French examples with Mandarin and Japanese, which are more clearly distinct (dī dā and katchin katchin). By the way, Cross-linguistic onomatopoeias gives the Japanese version as kachi kachi. This does mean "tick" as an onomatopoeia, but in my experience more often means "hard" or "rigid" as a gitaigo mimetic. Cnilep (talk) 16:52, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

untz..untz..untz..untz..[edit]

The onomatopoeia that is said to be heard at a typical Disco Biscuits (a popular jamband) show is untz. This description seems to have originated from an interview with Bob Dylan, who said "I kept hearing this, untz..untz..untz..untz..(sound in the background of all the music)"

Anyone have a reference to the Bob Dylan interview? This quotation is unknown to any Bob Dylan aficianados. 131.111.161.185 (talk) 10:12, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

In media photo[edit]

The picture from the webcomic with the completely uncommon "dook dook" for drinking seems a bit too much like somebody trying to get free advertising for their comic. Wouldn't a more neutral or least more well known image be better? Like a still from the batman show, or just a generic clip art of the word BOING! with crazy angular lines around it?68.11.25.82 (talk) 05:21, 24 October 2010 (UTC)


It also doesn't reference Drinky Crow or the comic strip Maakies, which is where the sound effect "dook dook" originated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.102.50.100 (talk) 15:43, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Verb Form (Original Research, Ho!)[edit]

Google search results for various possible verb form spellings of onomatopoeia:

1.) The ones I've always used (removing the 'a' from the word before adding the suffix) are least common, apparently:

  • Onomatopoeitification - 0
  • Onomatopoeification - 0
  • Onomatopoeitify - 0
  • Onomatopoeify - 0

2.) The ones that, after giving it a bit of thought, seem to me to have the best grammatical justification (I'm basing this on the fact that the relatively accepted adjective forms - "onomatopoeic" and "onomatopoetic" - remove the 'i' and the 'a') aren't much better.

  • Onomatopoetification - 4
  • Onomatopoefication - 0
  • Onomatopoetify - 0
  • Onomatopoefy - 0

3.) Whole word + suffix

  • Onomatopoeiatification - 0
  • Onomatopoeiafication - 1
  • Onomatopoeiatify - 0
  • Onomatopoeiafy - 21 (I expect this has something to do with this one being the most fun to say.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.31.5.19 (talk) 20:06, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
- Regarding "poe" vs. "poei" vs. "poeia":
Merriam Webster [3] and Wiktionary [4] appear to be under the impression that the forms ending in "poeic" ('pee-ik') and "poetic" ('po-et-ik') are both correct for adverb and adjective forms. I suppose this makes sense, as 'pee-ah-tic' (poeiatic) sounds the worst of the three.
This suggests that group #3 might be safe to toss out entirely (although this conflicts with the apparent 'common' usage).
- Regarding "tification/tify" vs. "ification/ify/fication/fy":
On the one hand, it seems to me that the suffixes '-fy' and '-ify' are generally only preceeded by a 't' when the word already has a 't' in it - 'clarify/dignify/specify' vs. 'fortify/stratify/identify'. So this would imply being able to rule out the first and third option within each of the above groups.
On the other, as can be seen in the linked Merriam Webster and Wiktionary pages, 'onomatopoeia' seems to be an exception to this rule, with a precedent already set for throwing in a 't' for no apparent reason, beyond making the word sound as if it has some linguistic link to 'poetry' (which it might - I have no idea). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.31.5.19 (talk) 22:51, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Zounds is not Onomatopoeia[edit]

Zounds is a mild oath from Elizabethan times (perhaps earlier; I'm not sure), for "By God's wounds", sometimes abbreviated "'swounds". Historical example: Buckingham entreating Gloucester to accept the crown in Richard III. "Come, citizens: 'zounds! I'll entreat no more." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 115.36.193.246 (talk) 22:33, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

Both Aristophanes and his play, "The Frogs", are referenced. Yet neither are linked. Links? 208.127.239.5 (talk) 08:12, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 5 October 2011[edit]

"Please add the following link to ==External links=="

Agatomi (talk) 13:28, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Took a look at the link and it seems very off-topic. Don't you have a better suggestion? ZipoBibrok5x10^8 (talk) 07:13, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

'English words with uncommon properties' deleted[edit]

The page English words with uncommon properties was deleted per Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/English words with uncommon properties. Deletion review is currently under way at Wikipedia:Deletion review#English words with uncommon properties, but pending that discussion the article has no content. I have therefore removed the hatnote from this article redirecting users to that one. Cnilep (talk) 04:19, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Wrong way around?[edit]

From the article:

"In a 2002 episode of The West Wing, Rob Lowe (Sam Seaborn) and Ian McShane (portraying a Russian negotiator) have a conversation about how the word 'frumpy' "onomatopoetically sounds right".[5]"

Really? When you say Hamlet speaks to his father's ghost do you first say the name of the actors who portray the characters? Why would you do it here? Does somebody think that the actors created the dialogue? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 8.21.181.27 (talk) 03:27, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Let's include "onomatopoeia" in the list of examples.[edit]

It's my understanding that the word “onomatopoeia” is itself an onomatopoeia, as it is derived from the sound produced when the word is spoken aloud. — Preceding unsigned comment added by KenMhorsechops (talkcontribs) 00:20, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 30 January 2012[edit]

Please modify the following text from: When someone speaks of a mishap involving an audible arcing of electricity, the word "zap" is often used (and has been subsequently expanded and used to non-auditory effects generally connoting the same sort of localized but thorough interference or destruction similar to produced in short-circuit sparking).

To the following: When someone speaks of a mishap involving an audible arcing of electricity, the word "zap" is often used (and has subsequently been expanded and used to describe non-auditory effects generally connoting the same sort of localized but thorough interference or destruction similar to that produced in short-circuit sparking).

This is strictly a request to switch the words "been" and "subsequently" and to add the words "describe" and "that" as noted above in order to make the sentence easier to understand.

Thank you.

Acro mega man (talk) 18:34, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Done Thanks. Celestra (talk) 04:38, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 14 February 2012[edit]

In the opening paragraph "oink" is given as an example as an onomatopoeia. "Moo" would be a better example as no animal makes a sound like "oink" even though English speaking children are taught so. "Moo" is pretty much universal, whereas "oink" exists in only a few languages. While this is the English section of Wikipedia, the example would be clear to anyone reading the page whose first language is not English. In the same light, "baa" would be a better example than "roar."

Knoxjeff (talk) 17:41, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Not done: they're all common English words, not worth changing every time an editor likes one better than the other. — Bility (talk) 01:13, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Yes, there IS an animal that does make that sound! Obviously you have never heard a pig... (Hint: you have to inhale while saying the word--not using your usual voice--more of a snort) I would agree for taking the "k" off though , as I am not certain of how distint the animal pronounces consonants ;) Djjonnyd (talk) 19:34, 11 May 2012 (UTC)djjonnyd

Todd Rundgren's Song "Onomatopoeia"[edit]

The current reference overlooks that each onomatopoetic word in the song is immediately followed by a corresponding sound. Suggest that it be modified to something like:

Todd Rundgren's "Hermit of Mink Hollow" album contains the humorous love song "Onomatopoeia" which contains 60 examples of onomatopoeia, each immediately followed by a corresponding sound effect. They start out reasonable but get more extreme as the song goes on.

RMoribayashi (talk) 17:28, 21 December 2012 (UTC)


Onomatopoeic effect without onomatopoeia words[edit]

This entire section is, I feel, extremely subjective, and reflects the personal opinion of the writer rather than facts. Furthermore, it is slightly outside of the scope of the article, as it is about words that conjure up images in the imagination. However, I am reluctant to simply remove it unless others agree. MrGraphis (talk) 13:01, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

I happen to agree. The section does seem out of place, and would benefit from either a "See also..." or a "From main article:..." to make it more complete. It is somewhat relevant to the article as it tries to show how (particularly the English) language attempts to " ...imitate, resemble or suggest the source of the sound that it describes", albeit not phonetically. CognitiveCog (talk) 20:52, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

History[edit]

Add some history of Onomatopoeia and its uses from 18BC-35AD — Preceding unsigned comment added by CurlyQ8592 (talkcontribs) 02:28, 23 October 2013‎

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:09, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Tattarrattat[edit]

Please insert the following interesting information, I found on "Palindrome" wiki page:

"tattarrattat" is the longest palindromic word in the Oxford English Dictionary, coined by James Joyce in Ulysses (1922) for a knock on the door.

176.63.175.220 (talk) 16:50, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Done. Sam Sailor Sing 08:47, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Punctuation[edit]

There is an extra ")" in the article for the sound of a chicken. In the "Uses of onomatopoeia" section the article reads:

"For animal sounds, words like quack (duck), moo (cow), bark or woof (dog), roar (lion), meow/miaow or purr (cat), cluck) (chicken)"

CognitiveCog (talk) 20:26, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 23 April 2014[edit]

There is an extra ")" in the article for the sound of a chicken. In the "Uses of onomatopoeia" section the article reads: "For animal sounds, words like quack (duck), moo (cow), bark or woof (dog), roar (lion), meow/miaow or purr (cat), cluck) (chicken)"

Please change cluck) to cluck CognitiveCog (talk) 22:00, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done thanks for pointing that out - Arjayay (talk) 07:24, 24 April 2014 (UTC)