Thursday, June 14, 2012

What sound does a wad of mail make as if falls from a letterbox?

Answer:  flumppf

At least, according to, a dictionary of "onomatopoeia and words of imitative origin."

I've always been pretty bad at onomatopoeia.  Sounds like bang and clang, tick-tock and clackety-clack I can handle just fine, but when sound descriptions get complicated, I get buried in a jumble of letters that remind me of this:

So, once I got stumped on how to describe shuffling a deck of cards, I looked up an onomatopoeia dictionary!  Not perfect, but definitely helpful for the onomatopoeia-challenged, like me.  Some interesting sounds?

  • vwomp or floovb - the bad tire of a car
  • kish-kish - ice skates
  • nnneeaoowww - a propellor plane
  • schhwaff - a flying arrow
Do I agree with all the sounds up there?  No, but it's a good place to start.  And what did I finally choose for shuffling cards?  Thith-thith-thith-thith.

What are your thoughts on these imitative words?  Do you like them, or do they drive you crazy?  Any interesting sounds that deviate from the usual bams and thuds?

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