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Vocabulary 16 - Onomatopoeia 2
A CROAKING frog. The word 'croak' sounds like the sound it describes. 'Croak' is an onomatopoeia.

Vocabulary 16 - Onomatopoeia 2

Many times when we are conversing we tend to use some words specifically to emphasise certain actions, or to describe something in a better way. You may recall some advertisements you have seen, heard or read and some words in the advertisement always remind you of the product that was advertised. Many times (especially in India, where there are many languages spoken) you may listen to words spoken in different languages and not understand them. But there are other times when you understand what is being said even though you do not know the language. More often than not the reason why you can understand words you are not familiar with is that certain words sound like what they describe.

If a cola advertisement is on air then the word FIZZ is not far away! FIZZ sounds like the noise made by a fizzy drink. Words that sound like the noise they describe are known as ONOMATOPOEIC words.

The dictionary meaning of ONOMATOPOEIA is 'the formation of words whose sound is imitative of the sound of the noise or action designated, such as hiss, buzz, and bang and is the use of such words for poetic or rhetorical effect'.

Some of the more often used onomatopoeic words are:

BUZZ - a low, vibrating, humming sound, as made by bees, machinery, or people talking.
ZOOM - the sound made by a car as it moves quickly by.
HICCUP - the sound made when your diaphragm goes into spasm.
BANG - a sudden, loud noise, such as a balloon bursting or a gun firing.
MOO - the sound made by a cow.

Understanding onomatopoeic words becomes easier if you start using them more often. The quiz that follows gives you some great onomatopoeic words to help expand your vocabulary.
1.
Choose the sentence with the most appropriate onomatopoeic word.
His father shouted, "Why are you shouting like a woman, you timid fool?"
His father shouted, "Why are you sounding like a woman, you timid fool?"
His father shouted, "Why are you shrieking like a woman, you timid fool?"
His father shouted, "Why are you shivering like a woman, you timid fool?"
'Shrieking' is the appropriate onomatopoeic word which resembles the sound a woman makes when she is frightened or angry. The other three options could be used but they are not onomatopoeic as they do not sound like the thing they describe
2.
Choose the sentence with the most appropriate onomatopoeic word.
I love it when a scoop of ice cream is plopped on my plate.
I love it when a scoop of ice cream is placed on my plate.
I love it when a scoop of ice cream is put on my plate.
I love it when a scoop of ice cream is served on my plate.
'Plopped' is the appropriate onomatopoeic word which resembles the sound a scoop of ice cream or other food items make when put on a plate. The other three options could be used but they are not onomatopoeic as they do not sound like the thing they describe
3.
Choose the sentence with the most appropriate onomatopoeic word.
The snake's tail shook and warned him so that he could run to safety.
The snake's tail waved and warned him so that he could run to safety.
The snake's tail wriggled and warned him so that he could run to safety.
The snake's tail rattled and warned him so that he could run to safety.
'Rattled' is the appropriate onomatopoeic word which resembles the sound a rattlesnake's tail makes. The other three options could be used but they are not onomatopoeic as they do not sound like the thing they describe
4.
Choose the sentence with the most appropriate onomatopoeic word.
Be careful of a dog's yelp as it means the dog is angry.
Be careful of a dog's bite as it means the dog is angry.
Be careful of a dog's growl as it means the dog is angry.
Be careful of a dog's bark as it means the dog is angry.
'Growl' is the appropriate onomatopoeic word which resembles the sound of an angry dog. 'Yelp' and 'bark' are also onomatopoeic words describing the sounds made by a dog, but a 'yelp' is made by a frightened or injured dog and a 'bark' is not necessarily an angry noise. 'Bite' is not onomatopoeic as it does not sound like the thing it describes
5.
Choose the sentence with the most appropriate onomatopoeic word.
I could not sleep as the frogs bleated throughout the night.
I could not sleep as the frogs mooed throughout the night.
I could not sleep as the frogs clucked throughout the night.
I could not sleep as the frogs croaked throughout the night.
'Croaked' is the appropriate onomatopoeic word which resembles the sound made by frogs. The other three options are also onomatopoeic but they describe the noises made by sheep (bleat), cows (moo) and chickens (cluck) rather than frogs!
6.
Choose the sentence with the most appropriate onomatopoeic word.
Dennis the Menace liked the fizz of his root beer.
Dennis the Menace liked the sound of his root beer.
Dennis the Menace liked the zing of his root beer.
Dennis the Menace liked the taste of his root beer.
'Fizz' is the appropriate onomatopoeic word which resembles the sound of a fizzy liquid. The other three options could be used but they are not onomatopoeic as they do not sound like the thing they describe
7.
Choose the sentence with the most appropriate onomatopoeic word.
Big raindrops crashed against the windscreen of his brand new car.
Big raindrops splattered against the windscreen of his brand new car.
Big raindrops hit against the windscreen of his brand new car.
Big raindrops smashed against the windscreen of his brand new car.
'Splattered' is the appropriate onomatopoeic word which resembles the sound made when big rain drops fall on the windscreen of a car. The other three options could be used but they are not onomatopoeic as they do not sound like raindrops on glass, which is what is being described
8.
Choose the sentence with the most appropriate onomatopoeic word.
The sound of his shoes woke up the baby and Mom got angry with him.
The grating of his shoes woke up the baby and Mom got angry with him.
The noise of his shoes woke up the baby and Mom got angry with him.
The squeak of his shoes woke up the baby and Mom got angry with him.
'Squeak' is the appropriate onomatopoeic word which resembles the sound a shoe makes while walking on a smooth floor. The other three options could be used but they are not onomatopoeic as they do not sound like the thing they describe
9.
Choose the sentence with the most appropriate onomatopoeic word.
Time and tide wait for none and time just keeps on ticking.
Time and tide wait for none and time just keeps on running.
Time and tide wait for none and time just keeps on clocking.
Time and tide wait for none and time just keeps on slipping.
'Ticking' is the appropriate onomatopoeic word which resembles the sound of a timepiece recording time. The other three options could be used but they are not onomatopoeic as they do not sound like the thing they describe
10.
Choose the sentence with the most appropriate onomatopoeic word.
The circus tent's canvas waved in the wind.
The circus tent's canvas flapped in the wind.
The circus tent's canvas swung in the wind.
The circus tent's canvas swayed in the wind.
'Flapped' is the appropriate onomatopoeic word which resembles the sound of a canvas material swaying in the wind. The other three options could be used but they are not onomatopoeic as they do not sound like the thing they describe
Author:  V T Narendra

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