Onomatopoeia List

posted in: Writing Tips | 0

 

 

One thing I’ve always enjoyed in writing is onomatopoeia. There’s just something about words like squish or plopped that just grabs your attention as a reader on a level so much more than something like, “the giant man-eating blob, dropped to the floor and trodded forward on its suction cup legs.” compare that to, “the giant man-eating blob, dropped to the floor with a wet plop. It slurped and popped closer on its suction-cup legs . . .” this second description just invokes so much more, and something I feel is often neglected in writing. Sound.

Below is a list of some of the most common onomatopoeia words in writing.

 

Human vocal sounds

Achoo, Atishoo

Ahem

Argh

Belch
Babbling
Cough
Gargle
Gibberish
Hiccup
Hum

Sounds made by human actions

Knock
Smack
Thump
Screech

Words for people named after sounds

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

Awooga, or Aooga
Bang, the sound of an explosion or a gunshot
Beep, a high-pitched signal
Beep, beep, 1929 word for a car horn
Ding ding, 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
Oom-pah, the rhythmical sound of a deep brass instrument in a band
Ping
Plop
Slosh
Splash, sound of water upon disturbance
Squish
Swish
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
Things named after sounds
Choo Choo, childish word for a train, after the sound of a locomotive whistle
Flip-flops
Tuk-tuk, word for auto rickshaw in parts of Asia and Africa

Animal and bird names

Aye-aye
Bobolink
Chachalaca
Chiffchaff
Cuckoo
Dik-dik
Dodo
Hoopoe
Kea
Killdeer
Mopoke, morepork or boobook owl
Pobblebonk
Weero
Eastern whip-poor-will
Mexican whip-poor-will
Zyzzyx, a genus of sand wasp

English words for animal noises

Bark, call of a dog
Bleat, call of a sheep
Chirp, bird call
Chirp, sound made by rubbing together feet or other body parts, e.g. by 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

Sounds in fiction

Bamf, the sound Nightcrawler makes when teleporting

Biff, bam,

“Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?”, the sound of the Lobstroties from the Dark Tower
Snikt, the sound of Wolverine’s claws being extended
Vworp, the sound the TARDIS makes when it materializes

Whole Reddit dedicated to the sound a lightsaber makes 

From Pssshhew, Kksssshhhh, and Vrãu, vrãu

Whole page dedicated to Bat-Fight words 

From BIFF, ZORK, BAFF, ZONK, KER-PLOP and all your favourites.

 

Full list of onomatopoeia

ahem

babble
bang
bash
bam
bark
bawl
beep
belch
blab
blare
blurt
boing
boink
bonk
bong
boo
boo-hoo
boom
bow-wow
brring
bubble
bump
burp
buzz
cackle
chatter
cheep
chirp
chomp
choo-choo
chortle
clang
clash
clank
clap
clack
clatter
click
clink
clip clop
cluck
clunk
cock-a-doodle-doo
cough
crack
crackle
crash
creak
croak
crunch
cuckoo
ding
ding dong
drip
fizz
flick
flip
flip-flop
flop
flutter
giggle
glug
glup
groan
growl
grunt
guffaw
gurgle
hack
haha
hack
hiccup
hiss
hohoho
honk
hoot
howl
huh
hum
jangle
jingle
ker-ching
kerplunk
knock
la
Lub Dub (heart beating)
meow
moan
moo
mumble
munch
murmur
mutter
neigh
oink
ouch
ooze
phew
ping
ping pong
pitter patter
plink
plop
pluck
plunk
poof
pong
pop
pow
purr
quack
rattle
ribbit
ring
rip
roar
rumble
rush
rustle
screech
shuffle
shush
sizzle
slap
slash
Slish
slither
Slosh
slurp
smack
snap
snarl
sniff
snip
snore
snort
spit
splash
splat
splatter
splish
splosh
squawk
squeak
squelch
squish
Sway
Swish
swoosh
thud
thump
thwack
tic-toc
tinkle
trickle
twang
tweet
ugh
vroom
waffle
whack
whallop
wham
whimper
whip
whirr
whish
whisper
whizz
whoop
whoosh
woof
yelp
yikes
zap
zing
zip
zoom

 

Isn’t onomatopoeia fun? What are some of your favourites? What have I missed? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.

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Paul W. Ryan is the Irish Author of Rage, The Watchers series, and I F*cking Hate Monsters. Be sure to prod him with a stick and throw him a bucket of fish heads once a week. It's the only way he'll get more novels done.