Well so let us start from the basics – What is onomatopoeia? As per thefreedictionary.com, it is defined as, “The formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.”
With having known this definition, we are going to go the desi way and address a few Indian onomatopoeic words.
It is supposed to be pronounced one after the other, in a quick manner and pronounce the ‘d’ with a roll of your tongue. We Indians have a weird manner of saying, “Mom, I’m hungry.” It goes like “Mummy, pet mein gud-gud ho raha hai.”
2. Chhuk Chhuk Gaadi
This is one thing that every Indian child grows up saying – Chhuk Chhuk Gadi. Which refers to the train’s engine’s sound.
3. Chattar Pattar – Chappad Chappad
Take it chattar pattar or chappad chappad, they both refer to the consistent talkativeness of women! Don’t know how normal talking can sound familiar to these phrases!
This is the name given to fire-crackers in India. Because when we burst them, they sound like pha-ta-pha-te-ta-ka-pha-ta-pha-ta-pha-ka (Speak it fast, in one breath!).
Apparently the sound of fighting by hitting is dhhishuuum dhhishuuum! Hence, the word fighting has been dropped and replaced by the colloquial dhishum-dhishum.
It is similar to the sound of a gunshot. And it has gone to the level of the entire action of killing someone being called ‘dhishkiyaaun’.
Eg: “Usne usko dhishkiyaaun kar dia.” (He killed him)
It refers to the repeated and soft manner in which our mums pat us on our head to make us go off to sleep. The light thap-thap sound has taken a cute avatar and become ‘thappi’.
The funny mild fart sound is what is called phuus! This sound comes when want to fart but you control it, control it, control it; and then lightly release it in installments! This is such a loved and cherished word that there are even different names for the same – phuski, phus phus etc.
Weirdly, just slapping your feet across the water surface, be it lake or a pool, is called chhap-chhap (the sound of the water splash).
10. CAT or See ai Tee?
This should be pronounced as “See Ai Tee” – while we pronounce it as “kat”. Americans do just fine with SAT (Es ai tee).
Eg – “Tu cat de raha hai iss saal?” (Are you giving cat this year?) *sounds wrong*.
11. Dhak Dhak
Apart from movies and songs, this phrase finds a regular mention in the daily lingo of Indians. Typically it tries to imitate the heartbeat’s sound. People go to the extent of expressing their nervousness by saying, “Dil mein bahut dhak dhak ho raha hai.” (Not like it wasn’t beating earlier :P)
Well this one needs no explanation!
The blowing of the wind also has been assigned a sound – sar-sar! Yes you read it right, the wind’s blow is called sar-sar!
Well this one is a little uncommon but Flip-flops are many a times called ‘chat-pats’ due to the flippy-flappy sound that comes when you wear them and walk.
In India if someone knocks your door, people say, “Thak-thak hui hai” (Thak-thak happened). Instead of “Koi darwazey par hai” (Someone is at the door).
These are just a few of those fun-sounding silly little words that make us happy and paste a smile on our face. If you know of more, do post them below this article.