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About this website
Onomatopoeia is often funny. One goal for this website was to provide information, while keeping it light. Most entries are based on at least two independent sources (dictionaries, books, popular websites). The descriptions are deliberately short, and limited to meanings having to do with sound. For more information about a word, the first place to look is of course the dictionary. Also, check out some of the links. For even more detail, there is the whole academic discipline of linguistics, which goes a lot deeper into the matter.
Onomatopoeia (words that imitate sound) is prominent in comics. There is a dictionary of onomatopoeia in comics, entitled: "Ka-boom", by Kevin J. Taylor, and a website. Much of the onomatopoeia in comics is not used outside the world of comics. Also, some words are used by only one author. Although this website does feature a few words from comics, it gravitates towards words found in other literature.
Onomatopoeia is also often used in children's books. At the bottom of the links page, you can find a pretty long list of suggestions, some of which were sources for this list. Especially Verna Aardema, an american author of children's books, and Dr Seuss, have used a lot of onomatopoeia in their books. On the links page you also find s few suggestions for parents and teachers.
I have included both words that directly imitate sound, and words that have imitative origin. For example, "atchoo!" directly imitates the sound of sneezing, but the word "sneeze" itself has imitative origin, according to some sources. Sources do not always agree, indicating that the etymology of many words (their history) is simply uncertain. Of the ones with imitative origin, I have tried to include only words of which at least two sources said they have imitative origin. (sources). In the descriptions I usually do not say whether a word is a verb, noun, or something else, because it often can be used in several ways. For instance, in "the birds chirp" chirp is a verb, whereas in "Tweety has a high-pitched chirp" chirp is a noun, and in "Chirp! said Tweety", it is neither.
Most languages contain some onomatopoeia, but it in Japanese, it seems particularly big, and there are several books and websites about it.
I am a neuroscientist who likes building websites and playing with words and sounds.
Many, but here are the most important ones