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Onomatopoeia Words: Sound Words

May 6th, 2010

There are some basic types of words present in many of the world’s languages. An intermediate to advanced student of the English language is likely familiar with some of the basic types already. One common type of word is known in English as a “noun” and another kind is known as a “verb.” There is another type of word that is common to many world languages, which students of the English language may find entertaining to learn. The type of word is known as onomatopoeia and is usually a word that actually sounds like what the word represents. Onomatopoeia is a long English word to describe something surprisingly fun and easy for students to understand. A comic book is a common place where a lot of onomatopoeia can easily be found. The word “boom” is one such example. The word can be used both as a noun and as a verb to describe some kind of explosion taking place. Here are some more onomatopoeia words that are relatively common in English writing and conversation.

Zip / Zipper

The word “zip” is commonly used as a verb to refer to the action of zipping a common type of fastener known as a “zipper.” For instance, “He zipped the zipper on his jacket.” The word can also be used to describe fast movement. “The bird zipped past the turtles.”


The word “splash” is used to describe some of a liquid flying into the air from a larger area of liquid. The word can be used as a noun or a verb. Here is an example: “The puppy made a big splash when it jumped in the pool. A lot of water splashed into the air.”


The word “clap” you may already know and it is another common onomatopoeia word that sounds like what it describes. When people put their hands together quickly it makes a “clap” sound. When people repeat the sound many times it is called “clapping.” The word can also be used to describe other sounds, such as a loud and quick sound that may be heard when there is lightning in the sky. This is known as a “thunder clap.”


The word “meow” is one of the many onomatopoeia words that are used to describe the sounds that animals make. The word can be used as a noun or a verb. For instance, “The cat meowed. It was a quiet meow.”


The word “click” is one of the many onomatopoeia words that are used to describe mechanical sounds. “Click” is a rather common word used in modern computing. A person using a computer “clicks” a button on a mouse. The word can be used to describe any action where there is a quick and relatively quiet sound of metal or plastic. Again, “click” can be used as both a noun and a verb. For instance, “I clicked the mouse. It was just one click.”
There are many more fun onomatopoeia words to learn, and hopefully this article has introduced some of the common types.