What is Onomatopoeia What are some examples

German onomatopoeia: 10 words with the most beautiful sound

Painting with sounds, what a beautiful idea! We do nothing else when we emit sounds that create images in our counterpart: from someone hissing shouting Goose or one send travel Sheet of paper. The technical term for onomatopoeia is Onomatopoeia. Individual onomatopoeic expressions are called onomatopetics. This means the imitation of non-linguistic sounds through language. We cannot crow ourselves to describe how a rooster crows, but we can imitate it: Kikeriki! So with these words we try to create an impression of what a non-human sound sounds like.

How do onomatopoeic words differ?

We distinguish between three types of onomatopoeia:

  • Word-forming onomatopoeia: Here a word of its own is derived from the original noise. “Hissing” is an example of this: the “Sch” sound is reminiscent of a noise. Nevertheless, it is a normal verb that we can put in the past tense, for example.
  • Interjections: These are words that have no concrete meaning, but express something. We can draw sounds with quite a few of them, such as with Noise, Boom and Bang!
  • Circumscribing onomatopoeia: As the name suggests, these words do not imitate the sound itself, but rather describe it. This is the case, for example, when we describe a tone as "wooden". Well, that's more of the wooden variant of onomatopoeia.

Once you open your ears, you will discover a whole host of words in everyday life that imitate noises. We have prepared a small exhibition for you with some of the most beautiful works of art in German onomatopoeia. Trying out is welcome!

Our 10 favorite German onomatopoeia

Pure feast for the ears from Papperlapapp up to Kladderadatsch.


Someone says such crap that you can't find the words? In this case, we recommend a hearty one Papperlapapp. The term has been used in spelling since 1880. The syllable "Papp" is supposed to imitate the smacking that small children utter when eating porridge. Thus, the expression can be interpreted in two ways: "Stop the childish babbling!" And "Only porridge comes out of your mouth!" Papperlapapp also sounds like nobody likes to hear this feedback.

Woof woof

Have you noticed that too? When dogs bark in England, they don't Woof woof, rather bow-wow. In Poland they tend to linger hauhau. And you can recognize Spanish dogs by their fiery one guau guau. Well, not exactly. Children who are just learning to speak often name things by the sound they make. This is how a motorcycle becomes a Töfftöff and a dog for Woof woof - that's also much easier to remember. Depending on the source language, the parents confirm their child by saying: "Wauwau!" Or Look, a bow-wow!


What do hungry baby birds and your alarm clock have in common? they do Beepwhen they want attention. The expression imitates a light, whistling tone. He sounds like a needy being. At the same time, many animals use high tones to warn each other of dangers. A beep tells us that we are asked in some way, it makes us vigilant. And honestly, would you get out of bed in the morning when your alarm clock is buzzing comfortably?


You walk past a playground unsuspecting, when suddenly a cowboy attacks. You want to flee, but after that at the latest Bang one thing is clear: he caught you. The expression is not only popular among little cowboys and girls, it is also common in many comics Bang! This does not always mean a shot, actually any kind of bang can be represented with it. It's long gone Bang become a solid expression for something unexpected: I opened the door and - bang! - my life was upside down. Then maybe a cowboy would be better.


Oh, what a homely sound. Say it slowly, first the cracking "K" sound, then the voiceless "S". Crackle - with a little imagination you can now see a campfire or a glowing match in front of you. If you are less romantic, think of synthetic clothes that come out of the dryer. Because even with electrical charges, we speak of crackling. The expression describes a bright, soft rustling noise - and you can come across this on adventures as well as in the household.


Flip-flop-flip-flop-flip-flop - this is what summer sounds like! How the thong slippers got their name is obvious, or rather in the ear. And even if there have long been high-end versions with textile and leather elements; the typical flip-flops are made entirely of plastic. Only then freaks and flopps it's so beautiful. Oh yes, flip-flops in electronic devices also have the name Flip-flop. But who thinks of the beach and sunshine?


“All birds are already there / all birds, all. / What a singing, making music / whistling, twittering, tireling! ”In his song“ Spring Arrival ”, Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben wanted to make it clear how diverse birds sound - and chose the verb for ittirilate. This is kind of the souped-up version of Beep. Fallersleben is not only known for his onomatopoeic children's songs: Among other things, he wrote the, well, rather sublime German national anthem.


Stand in front of the mirror and say bubble-bubble-bubble. Your mouth is reminiscent of a sauce that begins to ... bubble in a saucepan! A bubble builds up and discharges with a dull burst. Correspondingly, the term denotes the rising of gaseous bubbles in a liquid, regardless of whether it is hot and tastes like tomato sauce. As Bubble We also call it when someone speaks indistinctly - another reason to forego bubbling water before giving a speech.


If a glass falls over, do itClone! For a book, maybe: gossip! But what does a piano sound like that falls from the third floor into a china shop? Kladderadatsch! In our opinion, this term is one of the great works of art in onomatopoeia. It describes the crackling and clinking so impressively that you can see the cacophonic mess in front of your eyes. As a noun Kladderadatsch accordingly for chaos and excitement (scandal! A piano fell down!). The term became better known in 1848 through a political-satirical weekly of the same name.


No, we don't mean the app, we mean the Alm-Öhi, who in front of a magnificent mountain backdrop forHollera-hidi agrees. Already the term Yodel sounds somehow quaint with a swallowed second syllable. It goes back to the yodel call Yo and only spread to the German language in the 19th century. Before that it appeared mainly in dialects of the Alpine region. There people used to communicate over long distances with loud singsong. "Ahall's-Klario?" - "Jo!"