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(on-uh-mat-uh-PEE-uh)noun Pronunciation Sound Clip

noun: The formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.

[Late Latin, from Greek onomatopoiia, from onomatopoios, coiner of names : onoma, onomat-, name + poiein, to make.]

"I couldn't say the f-word for a while. I would explain the situation and not say the word. It is one of those words that sounds like what it is. I think that is called onomatopoeia. Fired is a harsh cutting word."
Barbara J. Linney; Rising From the Ashes; Physician Executive; Mar 1996.

Why doesn't onomatopoeia sound the way it is?

This week's theme: What would you ask words if you could speak with them?


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