Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Writers Weigh In: Onomatopoeia adds OOMPH!


I grew up watching reruns of the 1960s Adam West Batman television where comic book style onomatopoeias such as wham!, pow!, "biff!", crunch and "zounds" appear onscreen during fight scenes. So much fun!

Onomatopoeia pulls the reader in, makes the story come to life and is a blast to read aloud.  It is a perfect addition to many picture books.

But I neglect to add such fun whimsy into my own stories and often find myself adding it later on when reminded.

Writers Weigh In!  What is your favorite onomatopoeia word?  What onomatopoeia words have you used in your own writing? 


  1. SWISH! or ZIP!

    Are the exclamation points mandatory? I can't seem to write these words without them!

  2. Loved Batman! :) And like you, I often forget the whimsy - so important. I should stick a post-it to my computer: Remember The Whimsy :) I just like the word onomatopoeia (which I can never spell). I seem to have a lot of THUDs. Not very whimsical.

  3. I'm a lot like you, Marcie....I remember (sometimes) to add them later. But here are some I think I would like to use in a story because they are so fun to say:

    I could go on!!!

  4. My favorite use of onomatopoeia is in Candace Fleming's MUNCHA, MUNCHA, MUNCHA. I read this to my son's kindergarten class and they were all shouting along. It was a great reminder how much kids (and adults) love those sound words.

  5. I love ZOUNDS but haven't used it. recently I have used THWACK and KERPLUNK!

  6. In a current MS, I use "plop," "pop" and a few others for emphasis.

  7. I just realized that most of my mannys do not have such wonderful words. However, my latest story has words such as DING! SLAM! and OOGEY!

    They're fun, when you think about it; And they really shoud be used more often with PBs. :)

    See you tomorrow!!!

  8. I actually used to speak almost exclusively in onomatopoeia! As a fresh-off-the-boat exchange student I knew only a few phrases, one of which I cannot share on your blog, but I used them to get my ideas across, because hey, when you've gotta go YOU"VE GOT TO GO! I guess I like 'pffft', but that isn't a word per se. I do love saying 'chicka-dee-dee-dee' when I hear 'em calling! Thanks Marcie - this is fun!

  9. BANG!! SPLAT!! Your right on that part and I like you comments

  10. I love Zap! (And yes, Cathy, I think the exclamation points are mandatory!!) ;)

  11. I ran in large relay race this weekend. We had meant to bring cattle bells to cheer our team on, but forgot. Instead we would yell out the window "Clanga-clanga-clanga!" as we passed by runners. It was almost as fun as real cattle bells.

  12. Huge fan of onomatopoeia!!!

    A few of my favorites: