New Word #56: What Does It Sound Like

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Say Something

articulation: the formation of clear and distinct sounds in speech.

enunciation: the act of pronouncing words.

diction: the style of enunciation in speaking or singing; the choice and use of words and phrases in speech or writing.

Say Something Unclear

susurration: an indistinct sound, as of whispering or rustling.

mumble: to say something in a way that is not loud or clear enough so that your words are difficult to understand.

babble: to speak quickly in a way that other people cannot understand easily

slur: to speak without pronouncing the words clearly or separately, for example because you are very tired or drunk.

equivocate: to avoid making a clear statement by saying something that has more than one possible meaning

sputter: to speak or say something in a confused way, often while taking short quick breaths, for example because you are shocked or angry

Poetic Sound

alliteration: the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.

assonance: the repetition of vowel sounds within a tight group of words.

consonance: is the partial or total identity of consonants in words whose main vowels differ. Example: shadow meadow; pressed, passed; sipped, supped.

Speech Problems

lisp: a speech defect in which s is pronounced like th in thick and z is pronounced like th in this.

stutter: talk with continued involuntary repetition of sounds, especially initial consonants.

stammer: speak with sudden involuntary pauses and a tendency to repeat the initial letters of words.

apraxia: If you have apraxia, your tongue and lips aren’t able to move in the correct way to produce sounds.

cluttering: This is to describe a speech to be abnormally rapid, irregular, or both for the speaker. Someone who clutters may speak in bursts or pause in unexpected places.

The Sound Of A Language

phonology: The study of the patterns and system of sounds in a particular language.

dialect and accent: An accent is simply how one pronounces words—a style of pronunciation. A dialect includes not just pronunciations, but also one’s general vocabulary and grammar

idiolect is the language of a single individual (language which one person has made up for their own use only).

cognate: Cognates are words in two languages that share a similar meaning, spelling, and pronunciation.

homonym, homophone, homograph: Homophones are words that sound the same but are different in meaning or spelling. Homographs are spelled the same, but differ in meaning or pronunciation. Homonyms can be either or even both.

creole: is a stable natural language that develops from the simplifying and mixing of different languages into a new one within a fairly brief period of time: often, a pidgin evolved into a full-fledged language. For example, English has many creole language variations, like Manglish (Malaysian English), Singlish (Singapore English) etc.


Onomatopoeia is the process of creating a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the sound that it describes. The following is a list of 9, but there are a lot more than this. I somehow feel that most of the zz, ff words and a lot of sound describing words are onomatopoeia kind of words.

fizz: (of a liquid) produce bubbles of gas and make a hissing sound.

honk: the cry of a wild goose.

jingle: a light ringing sound such as that made by metal objects being shaken together.

moo: make the characteristic deep vocal sound of a cow.

plop: a short sound as of a small, solid object dropping into water without a splash.

neigh: a characteristic high-pitched sound uttered by a horse.

pop: make a light explosive sound.

woof: the barking sound made by a dog.

25 thoughts on “New Word #56: What Does It Sound Like

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Yes, new words can be overwhelming, but if we learn together, it makes it less boring. My memory is so bad now that I can’t remember anything almost.


  1. Interesting list.

    I think there’s a theory (maybe discredited) that all words started out as onomatopoeic (hundreds of thousand of years ago I guess). Or perhaps, in some cases, the mouth made a shape that resembled the object referred to: eg “moon”, “lune” (French) and “kuu” (Finnish) all create a round (moon-like) mouth shape when you pronounce them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, what a wonderful theory. I think “I” was created when a human like ape sighed “ai” about something disappointing. And when women were told to hush up by the sound “sh”, the word “she” was created. Yes, the moon was from the mouth shape. If we don’t have to work for a living, I guess we can all be linguists to investigate something really fun.


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