Bang. Clang. Crash. Pow. Zoom.
Buzz. Buzz. Swoosh. Swoosh. Screeeech. Kerplunk. Ah-choo.
Meow. Snarl. Ruff, ruff. Ribbit. Oink. Moo. Bleat. Arrgh. Pffft. Shazaam.
Snap. Clap. Whizz. Pop. Pop. Pop. Beep. Buzz. Thud.
Feel like you just opened a comic book to a page illustrating an incident at Old MacDonald's Farm? Or the first draft of a Shel Silverstein poem?
The words above are all examples of onomatopoeia (spell that!), which is just a fancy way of saying - words that evoke or imitate a sound. My definition.
Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines it as follows:
1: the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (as buzz, hiss)
2: the use of words whose sound suggests the sense.
It literally comes from the latin for "word" and "to make or compose." So, my challenge for you is to make or compose a word that describes a sound, one that you don't find yet in whichever language you speak.
writing exercise: Think of a sound that is not adequately described in words. Create a word to define the sound using onomatopoeia, and write the definition to help the other writercizer's follow your thought process.
(Click "read more" for writercizer sample response.)
swish-unk: the sound of uneven windshield wipers, especially on a bus or semi.
tnk: the little tick as the dishwasher finishes it's drying cycle.
I'm really trying to find those magical words to define the silent buzz of energy my computer puts off or the exact sound of the blinds clanking up against one another in the breeze, but not without some difficulty, so I'll leave it with the two listed above. Of course buzz and clank are both words of onomatopoeia, but they don't quite describe the understated sound I'm looking for... maybe another day, another time.