The process of creating and using words to replicate sounds. Some words’ meanings are conveyed by their sound. Such words are called onomatopoeia.
Onomatopoeia is the combination of two words. Onoma + poiein ‘name make’.
The process of creating and using words to replicate sounds. Some words’ meanings are conveyed by their sound. Such words are called onomatopoeia. It’s a figure of speech that may be found in a variety of literatures, and the sound produced by it makes sense.
It is frequently used in both poetry and prose. It’s employed to create a unique or intriguing effect, as well as to make the work description more vivid and exciting. By capturing a sound, it creates a long-lasting effect of words in the minds of the readers.
- 1 Types of Onomatopoeic sounds:
- 2 Why Writers Use Onomatopoeia:
- 3 Common Examples of Onomatopoeia:
- 4 Examples of Onomatopoeia in Literature:
Types of Onomatopoeic sounds:
Onomatopoeic sounds can be categorized into following five sounds.
i. Water Onomatopoeia
ii. Voice Onomatopoeia
iii. Collision Onomatopoeia
iv. Air Onomatopoeia
v. Animal Onomatopoeia
i. Water Onomatopoeia:
Water Onomatopoeia produce due to the sound of water falling. The sounds include splash, gush, sprinkle, drizzle, drip
ii. Voice Onomatopoeia:
It can be the voice of human being or some constant object. For example, giggle, chatter, whisper
iii. Air Onomatopoeia:
The sounds that produce with the blow of air or wind. For example, whoosh, whizz, swish
iv. Collision Onomatopoeia:
This type of onomatopoeia occurs between the two objects. Such as, bang clang, collateral noc thud etc.
v. Animal Onomatopoeia:
It includes the voices of animals. For example, mew, bark, bray hiss, fur, cluck etc
Why Writers Use Onomatopoeia:
The writers employ this figure of speech to produce a rhythmic effect in the poetry and to keep the work interesting. The work becomes more expressive as a result of the use of onomatopoeia, which appeals to the reader’s senses. This approach is sometimes used by writers to emphasise or criticise a specific and noteworthy idea.
Writer’s frequently employ onomatopoeia in their work. It’s not always possible to convey a thing’s or object’s exact meaning. The use of onomatopoeia aids readers in comprehending the word’s concise and precise meaning.
Common Examples of Onomatopoeia:
- The dog bark.
- The cats mew.
- The bee is buzzing.
- The snake is hissing.
- The woolf howls
- The sheep Baa
- The Music bang
- Cellphone beeps
- Bridge collapse producing a tremendous boom.
- Her heels clacked on the floor.
- The clanging pots and pans awoke the mother.
- The bird’s chirp.
- Drip-drop of water is coming from the bathroom.
- Jingle of the keys.
- Door is knocking.
- The patient was moaning.
- The bullet whizzled by his abdomen.
- The Lion roars
- The leaves rustle when the wind blows.
- The flag is flapping in the air.
- I heard the slap echo across the town.
- She smacked her lips and spoke rudely.
- Rain is trickling down the drain.
- Birds are tweeting for a long time.
- The cow mooed aggressively on seeing the stick.
Examples of Onomatopoeia in Literature:
Dry Salvages by T.S. Eliot
When the train starts, and the passengers are settled
To fruit, periodicals and business letters
And those who saw them off have left the platform
Their face relax from grief into relief
To the sleepy rhythm of a hundred hours
The entire piece is quietly onomatopoeic, with the second line’s beat evoking the clickety-click of wheels on rails with exquisite finesse.
Snake by D.H. Lawrence
“He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed this yellow-brown slacknesssoft-bellied down,
Over the edge of the stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom
And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth
Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,
Lawrence has created a rhythmic representation through sound effect to suggest the reptile’s well sinuous and gradual development. The sounds are either visible or audible.
“The moan of doves in immemorial elms
And murmuring of innumerable bees.”
The poet has described the cooing of the doves and the humming of the bees in the above lines.
Rend with tremendous sound your ears asunder,
With gun, drum, trumpet, blunderbuss, and thunder,”
Here the vowel-sounds in the second line suggest the idea of a loud thundering noise.
“A murmuring whisper through the nunnery ran” By Tennyson
“I heard the water lapping on the crag
And the long ripples washing in the redds.
The Thought Fox by Ted Hughes
The window is starless still; the clock ticks
“The Thought Fox” is a collection of poems about creativity, inspiration, and the writing process. The speaker, widely assumed to be Hughes himself, sits alone on a cold winter night, his fingers poised over a blank page. Outside the window, a fox approaches and makes a cautious but deliberate voyage through the snow before leaping into the speaker’s mind.
Here the sound of clock ‘ticks’ has been described as enjambment.
Full Moon and Little Frieda by Ted Hughes
A cool small evening shrunk to a dog bark
and the clank of a bucket
The phrase “the clank of the bucket” is onomatopoeic, and it allows the reader to hear the sounds of this relatively quiet night by hearing this sonorous sound, which complements the “dog bark” and contrasts with the stillness of the rest of the night, making it more enigmatic..
A constable call by Seamus Heaney
And the bicycle, ticked, ticked, ticked.
The phrase ‘ticked’ indicates that the young Heaney was aware of the bicycle’s sounds as the policeman pedalled away. The last line, however, is a joke. It’s a play on words. A clock is ticking. A clock used as a timer in a bomb could be what the adult Heaney is referring to. He employs onomatopoeia by referring to the ticking of the clock.
He’s implying that the enmity between cops and farmers will lead to future riots. The state is represented by the police officer. Heaney is implying that the police officer’s treatment of a Catholic farmer adds to the deep animosity that already exists. Heaney feels that hostility was at the root of the North’s problems.
A Prayer for my daughter by W.B. Yeats
Once more the storm is howling, and half hid
And heard the sea wind scream upon the tower
The poem begins with a child resting in a cradle with its hood half hidden. The infant sleeps soundly in the midst of the “howling storm,” but Yeats couldn’t sleep because of the storm inside. It has been stated how onomatopoeia was used to describe the sound of a storm ‘howling.’ The roaring storm represents the catastrophe alluded to by the author in his poem “The Second Coming.” The poet’s excessive fear for his daughter is symbolized by the onomatopoeia word “Scream” and the “flooded stream.”
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