onomatopoeia


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onomatopoeia

(ŏn'əmăt'əpē`ə) [Gr.,=word-making], in language, the representation of a sound by an imitation thereof; e.g., the cat mews. Poets often convey the meaning of a verse through its very sound. For example, in "Song of the Lotus-Eaters" Tennyson indicates the slow, sensuous, and langorous life of the Lotus-Eaters by the sound of the words he uses to describe the land in which they live:
Here are cool mosses deep,
And through the moss the ivies creep,
And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep,
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.
Onomatopoeia can also represent harsh and unpleasant sounds, as in Browning's "Meeting at Night":
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match.
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Onomatopoeia

(pop culture)
The black trench coat–wearing assassin Onomatopoeia hurled onto the pages of a Kevin Smith–penned, Phil Hester and Ande Parks–illustrated story in Green Arrow vol. 3 #11 (2002). Introduced as a ninja-like murderer of third-string superheroes such as the suburban vigilante Buckeye, Onomatopoeia struck a more well-known superhero, the contemporary Green Arrow, Connor Hawke—an accomplished martial artist himself and son of the original Green Arrow, Oliver Queen. Like his name implies, Onomatopoeia's calling card is that he utters onomatopoeic words—specifically, the sound of the murder weapon he employs during the murder (“Bang!” “Crash!”)—just before killing his next victim. While he didn't quite execute Green Arrow, he did manage to hospitalize him by shooting him in the head. As Green Arrow's arch-nemesis—and by extension, his father's, as the two Emerald Archers fight crime together in Star City—little is known about this evasive, verbally limited supervillain. His face concealed behind a black mask with concentric bull's-eye markings, Onomatopoeia has superpowers that mimic a super–serial killer. He is adept at using guns, swords, knives, and other weaponry, and even goes to such extremes as to bite weapons in two! With behavior that borders on psychotic, the mysterious Onomatopoeia might find a welcome home in the bleaker post–Infinite Crisis (2005–2006) DC Universe.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Onomatopoeia

 

in linguistics, sound-imitative words that develop out of a phonetic similarity to combinations of nonverbal sounds—for example, Russian miaukat’, “to meow” (from miau, “meow”). The term “onomatopoeia” also refers to the method by which sound-imitative words are formed, as well as to a particular type of onomatopoeic, or reduplicative, word. Often, “onomatopoeia” designates the conventional verbal imitation of the sound associated with a living or nonliving thing (ku-ku, “cuckoo”; bum-bum, “boom-boom”; a devitsa—khi-khi-khi! da kha-kha-kha! “And the girl goes ‘Hee, hee, hee!’ and ‘Ha, ha, ha!’ “). Onomatopoeia is used in poetry to create an image based on sound:

Budu akat’, budu okat’,
Kapliu-step’ voz’mu pod lokot’,
Kon’ poidet podkovoi tsokat’,
Ekat’ selezenkoiu. (A. Tarkovskii) 
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

onomatopoeia

1. the formation of words whose sound is imitative of the sound of the noise or action designated, such as hiss, buzz, and bang
2. the use of such words for poetic or rhetorical effect
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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References in periodicals archive ?
Since ancient times, poetry has used onomatopoeia to stereotype animal calls, especially bird songs, and has observed the synchronization of their behavior with the hour and the season.
The BFC's visit is a great opportunity to promote companies to international clients Sam Auguste, MD, Onomatopoeia Post
The frequent use of word initial #p, reduplication and the often co-existing particle characterize Japanese onomatopoeia (Jorden, 1982).
And he presents this cast through their thoughts, punctuated by bursts of pure onomatopoeia - as Nestor's boat goes SMACK on the water and the music in the strip club goes BEAT thung.
While stories like "The Centaur" or "Revenge" could be described as Katkaesque, other stories, such as "The Chair" and "Embargo" not only offer early signs of Saramago's trademark political allegories but also give us a glimpse into the satiric voice we've come to associate with a man who has been hailed as one of the world's great novelists: "If they were to say the same thing, if they were to group together through affinity of structure and origin, then life would be much simpler, by means of successive reduction, down to onomatopoeia which is not simple either." Although Saramago's idiosyncratic style is clearly on display in these early stories, he has not quite perfected the power of the comma evident in his later work.
Thirdly, general readers would be likely to be interested in both the etymology and word-formation history of the words (the latter being particularly striking due to the onomatopoeia so prevalent in the names of animals).
Sean Boyce had that job and had to defend himself against accusations from one correspondent that he used onomatopoeia - words that sound like the thing they are describing - too often when presenting.
Ask, ask, ask is onomatopoeia, the "siss" of the question steams the creases from the guard's handsome uniform.
Devices such as assonance, alliteration, onomatopoeia, and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects.
"The best lyrics have sophisticated internal rhymes, use onomatopoeia for percussive effect and can spin the emotional intensity of a verse or the meaning of a story on a single word," she said.
One of Joyce's kinesthetic strategies, particularly evident in "Proteus," attempts to make language mimetic of human movement in the way that onomatopoeia suggests words may sound like what they mean.
This is my light, alive in you." This book begs to be read aloud, with questions before page turns, fun use of onomatopoeia and gorgeous gouache illustrations.--J.R.P.