Onomatopoeia is when a word's pronunciation imitates its sound. When you say an onomatopoeic word, the utterance itself is reminiscent of the sound to which the word refers. Poets use onomatopoeia to access the reader's auditory sense and create rich soundscapes. It is one of many poetic devices dealing with the sounds of poetry. Many people confuse onomatopoeia with interjections; however, they are two different and distinct concepts. Interjections are one of the eight parts of speech. An interjection is a sudden outburst of emotion or excitement, such as "ouch" or "wow." While some onomatopoeic words may be used as interjections, most interjections do not imitate sounds. Contrarily, onomatopoeic words, such as "buzz" or "boom," always mimic the noises to which they refer.
Onomatopoeia occurs frequently in poetry, where a line of verse can express a characteristic of the thing being portrayed. In the following lines from Sylvia Plath's poem "Daddy," the rhythm of the words suggests the movement of a locomotive:
An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
The following lines from "The Brook" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson are another example:
I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles.
What is a onomatopoeia?onomatopoeia, the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (such as buzz or hiss). Onomatopoeia may also refer to the use of words whose sound suggests the sense.
This list of words are all different examples of onomatopoeia in use.