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Video:What Is Onomatopoeia?

with Jen D'Amore

Onomatopoeia is an effective and fun linguistic device that can make any paper "pop." In this how-to video from About.com, learn all about onomatopoeia.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is Onomatopoeia?

Hi, I'm Jen D'Amore for About.com and this video is about onomatopoeia.

What are Some Examples of Onomatopoeia?

Buzz, hiss, and hiccup, are all examples of onomatopoeia, which is a way of naming something by imitating it's sound. Water hitting the ground is a splash. A bomb exploding is a "boom," or a "bang," and when scissors cut, it's a "snip."  

The sounds of the words themselves try to mimic as closely as possible the actual sound of the action, though it may not be exact.

A clock "ticks" or "cuckoo's," a steak "sizzles," and when driving a car you may "beep" your horn, or go over a "bump."  

 

What is Onomatopoeia?

Onomatopoeia is a linguistic device that is often used in poetry, advertisements, comics, and children's books.  

Descriptions of the sounds that animals make, like "oink," "ribbit," or "meow," are other examples of onomatopoeia.  

The literal meaning of onomatopoeia is "word making" from the greek roots that mean, [onoma ]- "name"  and [poeia] - "to make." 

When something uses onomatopoeia it is considered to be onomatopoeic, or onomatopoetic, the adjective form of onomatopoeia.  

So whether your dog "woofs," your car "vroom's," or your zipper "zips," you're using onomatopoeia.

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