Onomatopoeia Dictionary
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Music

B

badum tish

sound of a drum roll / rimshot hear the sound

keywords music drum laughter

blare

loud sound

keywords music misc tone engine

blurp

sound of a horn (from "Mr. Brown can moo, can you?" by Dr. Seuss)

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breet

Referee whistle. also: preet

keywords sports music

bum! brrum! brrrumble!!!!

Sound of a big bass drum. From the children's book Squeak, Rumble, Whomp Whomp Womp. Wynton Marsalis & Paul Rogers, 2012 Candlewick Press

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bwow-chcka-bwow

funky palm-muted riffs with wah pedal (sound effect), associated with pornographic movie soundtracks. often combined with playing "airguitar". see also: neow, jug, whockah

keywords music

C

cha-cha-cha

a fast rhythmic ballroom dance of Latin-American origin with a basic pattern of three steps and a shuffle. The name is derived from the rhythm of the guiro (scraper) and the shuffling of the dancers' feet

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chiming

the sound of wedding bells (features in the poem "The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe)

keywords metal music

croon

1. To hum or sing softly. 2. To sing popular songs in a soft, sentimental manner. 3. (Scottish) To roar or bellow. Possibly of imitative origin. Originally "to bellow like a bull" as well as "to utter a low, murmuring sound" Etymonline

keywords human music animal

cry

1. to call loudly, 2. to weep, 3. verb for the sound of a trumpet (in the poem "Lepanto" by G. K. Chesterton: "... Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse, crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips"

keywords human music

D

deed-a-reedle

sound of a fiddle ("the ceremonial band" by James Reeves, in "Noisy poems" by Jill Bennett)

keywords music

didgeridoo

(probably of imitative origin) indigenous Australian instrument, of imitative origin. link (video)

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dirnt

Sound of a bass-guitar. From: Mike Dirnt, the bassist of the rock band Green Day. Dirnt's birth name is Michael Ryan Pritchard. According to Wikipedia, at school, he would would often play "air-bass", pretending to pluck the strings, while making the noise, "dirnt, dirnt, dirnt". As a result, his schoolmates began to call him "Mike Dirnt". See also Yahoo Answers. Related: wub wub, wob wob and other sounds of bass in dubstep music.

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doo-wop

style in vocal rhythm and blues music from the 1950-1960, in which ad-lib syllables such as "doo wop, doo wah" are sung in harmony link (video)

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F

fanfare

(probably of imitative origin) a flourish of brass instruments. link (video)

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fillip

sound of snapping the fingers

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G

gada, gada, gada

sound of drums ("Misoso: Once Upon a Time Tales from Africa", by Verna Aardema)

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gong

metallic disk used as a percussive musical instrument named by the sound produced when struck

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groan

1. to utter a loud deep sound of grief or pain, 2. the sound of funeral bells (in the poem "The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe, 3. sound of drums (in the poem "Lepanto" by G. K. Chesterton: "...For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar ..."

keywords human human pain music

H

hum

1. to make a low inarticulate murmuring sound, sometimes making a melody "to hum a tune", 2. a verb for the sound that bees and hummingbirds make (eg. "the dog barks, the bee hums"), also: buzz

keywords animal music

J

jingle

1. to make a light clinking or tinkling metallic sound, 2. to rhyme or sound in a catchy repetitious manner 3. brief musical tune to mark the beginning of a show or segment of a show

keywords metal music

jug

sound of palm-muted power chords on an electric guitar. used in playing "air-guitar". often repetitive (jug jug jug - jug jug jug), typical of the musical style. as in Foo Fighters - "One by One". see also: neow, whockah, bwow-chcka-bwow

keywords music

K

kra, ka, ka, hi

sound of drums ("Misoso: Once Upon a Time Tales from Africa", by Verna Aardema)

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L

lilt

sound of horn, or singing

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N

neow

sound of individual legato notes on an electric guitar, as in the guitar part in verse of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit": neow neow, neow neow. often combined with playing "airguitar"

keywords music

O

oompah

the sound produced by a large brass instrument. see also: umpa

keywords music

oonse

also spelled: untz. Sound of the repetitive beat in rave music (a kind of electronic dance music)

keywords music

P

pah-pa-rah

sound of a trumpet ("the ceremonial band" by James Reeves, in "Noisy poems" by Jill Bennett)

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pickle-pee

sound of a fife ("the ceremonial band" by James Reeves, in "Noisy poems" by Jill Bennett). a fife is a small, high-pitched, transverse flute that is similar to the piccolo, but louder and shriller due to its narrower bore

keywords music

plunk

to pluck a string instrument, or to suddenly drop

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pump-a-rum

sound of a drum ("the ceremonial band" by James Reeves, in "Noisy poems" by Jill Bennett)

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R

rataplan

Word imitating the sound of the side-drum and used for music pieces, especially in opera, of a military-march character.

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rinky-dink

banjo music

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rub-a-dub

drumming sound. Also a musical style similar to reggae

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S

snap

1. to make a cracking sound, eg. snapping your fingers, or a camera making a photo (sound of the shutter). in the media: Snap, Crackle, and Pop are the cartoon mascots of Kellogg's breakfast cereal Rice Krispies. They are named after the sound rice krispies make when they are dropped in a bowl of milk 2. the "sound" of someone's pride being hurt. this is another example of "non-auditory onomatopoeia". other examples: bling bling, yoink and shiiin

keywords hard_hit light_hit crack music

strum

to play a guitar. see also thrum

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T

thrum

to play a guitar

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tick

a light rhythmic audible tap or beat

keywords light_hit music

tinkling

sound of sleigh bells, (features in the poem "The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe)

keywords metal music

Tluuck tluck tlawck tlock tlaack tlack tlick!

Sound of a pizzicato violin (Squeak, Rumble, Whomp Whomp Womp. Wynton Marsalis & Paul Rogers, 2012

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tom-tom

a monotonous beating, rhythm, or rhythmical sound / a percussive musical instrument played with hands

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toot

to blow or sound an instrument (as a horn)

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tootle-too

sound of a flute ("the ceremonial band" by James Reeves, in "Noisy poems" by Jill Bennett)

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trill

quavering or warbling in singing

keywords animal bird music

twang

sound of a guitar, or of a bow (and arrow)

keywords music

tweeter

loudspeaker for high frequencies

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U

umpa

the sound produced by a large brass instrument. see also: Oompah

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untz untz untz

The sound of rave music or the sound a raver makes while raving, the sound of a techno groove

keywords music

W

wah-wah

brass instrument effect of using a mute, or electric guitar sound effect (wah pedal)

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whistle

tubular wind instrument, or the act of whistling

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whockah

sound of palm-muted rhythmic strumming on an electric guitar with wah pedal, as in the intro of Jimi Hendrixs "Voodoo Chile", for example. often combined with playing "airguitar". see also: neow, jug, bwow-chcka-bwow

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wlu-wlu-wlu-wlu-wlu-wlu-wlu

A sound recording played backward. ref

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woop woop

Sound of a police car in the United States. Police often use the siren intermittently. Also spelled whoop whoop. This onomatopoeia is used in the chorus of the 1993 hip hop track Sound of da Police by KRS-One. Hear a police car

keywords alarm tone music

wub wub

The sound of the signature repetitive bass (wobble bass) in 'dubstep' music (a kind of electronic dance music). Other dubstep sounds: WOB WOB WOB WEB WEEEEEB WEEB WOOOB WOOOOB breeeeaaaaa breaaaaaaa WOBB WOBB, nehnehweeh, YOI YOI YOI WAHBWUHB - ref. Related: The sound of a bass guitar dirnt

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Y

yackety-yak

noisy talk. Alternative spelling: 'yakety yak'. Also the title of a famous song by doo-wop group the Coasters (1958). Coasters

keywords human music

yodel

to sing by suddenly changing from a natural voice to a falsetto and back; also: to shout or call in a similar manner

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Z

zoomba-zoom

sound of a bass (musical instrument) ("the ceremonial band" by James Reeves, in "Noisy poems" by Jill Bennett)

keywords music