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List of onomatopoeias

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This is a list of onomatopoeias, i.e. words that imitate, resemble or suggest the source of the sound that they describe. For more information, see the linked articles.

Human vocal sounds[edit]

Words for people named after sounds[edit]

  • Barbarian, a person perceived to be uncivilized; derived from a Greek word imitating babbling
  • Flibbertigibbet, a flighty or talkative person; derived from a meaningless representation of chattering
  • Mleccha, ancient Indian word for a foreigner; derived from a word for indistinct speech

Sounds made by devices or other objects[edit]

  • Awooga, or Aooga
  • Bang, the sound of an explosion or a gunshot
  • Boom, the sound of an explosion
  • Beep, a high-pitched signal
  • Beep, beep, 1929 word for a car horn
  • Ching, sound of metal on metal
  • Clink, sound of glass on glass
  • Ding dong, the sound of a ringing bell
  • Fizz, sound of effervescence
  • Flutter, sound of rapid motion, e.g. aeroelastic flutter
  • Honk, sound of a car horn; also used for the call of a goose
  • Kaboom,the sound of an explosion
  • Oom-pah, the rhythmical sound of a deep brass instrument in a band
  • Ping
  • Plop
  • Slosh
  • Splash, sound of water upon disturbance
  • Squish
  • Swish
  • Thump
  • Tick tick tick, sound of a timer
  • Tick tock, sound of a clock
  • Vroom, sound of an engine revving up
  • Whoosh, sound of the wind
  • Zap, sound of an electrostatic discharge
  • Zilch, sound of a zilch (homemade firework)

Things named after sounds[edit]

  • Choo Choo, childish word for a train, after the sound of a steam locomotive's driven pistons.
  • Flip-flops
  • Tuk-tuk, word for auto rickshaw in parts of Asia and Africa
  • Ping Food, an urban, possibly derogatory, word for food cooked in a microwave oven.

Animal and bird names[edit]

Animal and bird noises[edit]

For sounds listed by the name of the animal, see List of animal sounds.

English words for animal noises include:

  • Bark, call of a dog
  • Bleat, call of a sheep
  • Buzz, sound of bees or insects flying
  • Chirp, bird call
  • Chirp, sound made by rubbing together feet or other body parts, e.g. by a cricket or a cicada
  • Growling, low, guttural vocalization produced by predatory animals
  • Hiss, sound made by a snake
  • Hoot, call of an owl
  • Meow, cry of a cat
  • Moo, sound of a cow
  • Purr, a tonal buzzing sound made by all members of the cat family
  • Quack, call of a duck
  • Ribbit, sound of some Pacific tree frogs or bullfrogs
  • Roar, deep, bellowing outburst made by various animals
  • Screech, high-pitched strident or piercing sound, as made by a screech owl

Music groups or terms[edit]

  • Bebop, a style of jazz
  • Ratatat, a New York City experimental electronic rock duo
  • Wah-wah, the sound of altering the resonance of musical notes to extend expressiveness
  • Doof doof, Australian slang term describes electronic music heard at raves
  • Wham! Wham! was a 1980s English musical duo formed by members George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley
  • Djent, a style of progressive metal named after the sound of a palm-muted guitar
  • Kecak, part of a musical drama, is named after monkey chatter, and "chak" is also the sound of a struck bar percussion instrument as in a gamelan

Works and characters named after sounds[edit]

Sounds in fiction[edit]

See also[edit]