Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Word Wednesdays: Onomatopoeia

My mother-in-law is in town this week, so rather than create my own Word Wednesday, I'm going to borrow Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day—onomatopoeia! Besides, I love this word, so it's a perfect fit.

It goes on to give you a "Did you know?":
"Onomatopoeia" came into English via Late Latin and ultimately traces back to Greek "onoma," meaning "name," and "poiein," meaning "to make." ("Onoma" can be found in such terms as "onomastics," which refers to the study of proper names and their origins, while "poiein" gave us such words as "poem" and "poet.") English speakers have only used the word "onomatopoeia" since the mid-1500s, but people have been creating words from the sounds heard around them for much longer. In fact, the presence of so many imitative words in language spawned the linguistic Bowwow Theory, which postulates that language originated in imitation of natural sounds.

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