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Powerful Onomatopoeia Examples in 7 Different Types of Writing

Erin Duchesne

An onomatopoeia is much simpler than it sounds. It is a word that imitates a sound like whack or meow. So if you are trying to find a new way to make your words pop off the page, try incorporating more onomatopoeia examples into your work.

This is not just for fiction and children’s book writers, onomatopoeia can be easily and effectively used in all kinds of writing. So whether you are a copywriter, blogger, or poet you can absolutely benefit from using this literary device.  

Onomatopoeia examples in different types of writing 

Writers from all genres can benefit from infusing sound into their work to captivate readers. Here we will look at onomatopoeia examples in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, songs, children’s literature, marketing, and social media content to see the different ways it can be done. 


Fairy tales and general fiction are where onomatopoeia thrives! Adding the imagery of sound creates depth and a sense of realism that helps immerse readers into the story. 

4 onomatopoeia examples in fiction

“If they keep quiet they can hear it in the distance: Bang-bang-bang. Bang. Bang…This is a hockey town, and there are plenty of things you can say about those, but at least they are predictable. You know what to expect if you live here. Day after day after day. Bang.”

pg. 10 Beartown by Fredrik Backman

“I thought I’d wake up one day and look her in the eyes and then it would click, like that mythical puzzle piece had finally snapped into place.”

pg. 453 Verity by Colleen Hoover

“In all its weighty, two-volume splendor, our old professor William James’s Principles of Psychology—these and more were dropped on our desks, producing loud, ponderous booms.”

pg. 158 The Alienist by Caleb Carr

“You are currently a citizen of a hospital. A machine is breathing for you. Regularly spaced chirps indicate that you are still alive. You are not awake, but you are not asleep either.” 

pg. 624 Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin


Just like in fiction writing, it is important to paint vivid descriptions in non-fiction texts to engage readers. Incorporating onomatopoeia into non-fiction writing can transport readers to real events and places. 

2 onomatopoeia examples in non-fiction

“Well, they don’t really make that ‘zip’ noise. There are two-by-fours nailed to the back of these sliding doors and two guys pull them open and closed.”

pg. 166 Pufnstuf & Other Stuff: The Wonderful World of Sid & Marty Krofft by David Martindale

“It is a bit like old age, when our bodies become creaky and stiff.”

pg. 237 The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II


Poets know how to use the power of onomatopoeia to not only tell a story but also add rhythm and musicality to their verses. 

2 onomatopoeia examples in poetry

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
 Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
 I took the one less traveled by,
 And that has made all the difference.”

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost

“His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel”

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost


Musicians, lyricists, and songwriters are masters of sound. You can find onomatopoeia examples sprinkled throughout a lot of your favorite songs. 

9 onomatopoeia examples in songs

  • Ding, dong, ding, dong Christmas bells are ringing” (“Caroling, Caroling” by Nat King Cole)
  • Pop, six, squish, uh-oh, cicero, Lipschitz” (“Cell Block Tango” from Chicago)
  • “I’m on that supersonic boom, y’all hear that spaceship? Zoom” (“Boom Boom Pow” by The Black Eyed Peas)
  • Tick tock on the clock but the party don’t stop, no” (“Tick Tock” by Kesha)
  • Boom clap, the sound of my heart” (“Boom Clap” by Charli XCX)
  • “Louder, louder than a lion ‘cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar” (“Roar” by Katy Perry)
  • Splish splash, I was taking a bath” (“Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin)
  • Beep-beep, beep-beep, yeah” (“Drive My Car” by The Beatles) 
  • “While the honeybee hums and the cricket fiddles, the donkey brays and the pony neighs and the old gray badger sighs…listen to the bass, it’s the one on the bottom where the bullfrog croaks and the hippopotamus moans and groans with a big t’do and the old cow just goes moo” (“Place in the Choir” by Bill Staines)

Children’s literature

Onomatopoeia is particularly engaging for younger readers. So much so that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a picture book without a gluttony of sound words

3 onomatopoeia examples from children’s literature

“Back in their sleeping bags, Cairo, Benny, and Miles closed their eyes and listened to the shhh shhh, the plonk plonk, and the ting ting of the wind chime.” 

Everybody in the Red Brick Building by Anne Wynter

Zoom-zoom, zim-zam, clip-clop, hip-hop, what a trip–don’t stop!”

Joy by Yasmeen Ismail

“He might be small but Little Hedgehog has a big appetite. Sometimes he walks a whole mile in one night…sniff-sniff-sniffing for things to eat.”

Prickly Porcupine by Jane McGuinness

Marketing content

Guess what marketers and copywriters? This applies to you too! Onomatopoeia has the unique ability to grab readers’ and audiences’ attention to create memorable names, slogans, tag lines, and jingles. 

6 onomatopoeia examples in advertising and marketing content

  • “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” (Rice Krispies)
  • “Plop plop fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is!” (Alka-Seltzer)
  • Boom Chicka Pop (popcorn)
  • Cap’n Crunch (cereal)
  • Slurpee (7-11 drink)
  • Pop rocks (candy)

Instagram captions

Attention-getting posts are king on all social media platforms. Instagram bios, stories, and photo captions need to be carefully crafted and by adding onomatopoeia you can liven up your content. To hook your audience and stand out in a crowded feed, sometimes you need to be loud! 

5 onomatopoeia examples from Instagram

  • “Still buzzing about the new project that we launched last February…” (@carlossainz55)
  • “Zingbot is back and better than ever in tonight’s episode! Tell us your favorite zing of all time down below…” (@bigbrothercbs)
  • Swish with Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic Mouthwash twice daily for a cleaner, healthier mouth!” (@listerinecanada)
  • “Let’s raise the woof this #WorldTheatreDay” (@the_globe Instagram)
  • “The Great Gatsby roars into their Broadway opening night curtain call!…” (@broadwaycom)

Onomatopoeia examples in titles 

Onomatopoeic words not only add depth and engagement to writing content but they can also be used to create an interesting title. Titles that use this sound symbolism can instantly hook readers and evoke a sensory experience, making them more memorable. 

  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (by Bill Martin Jr.)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (by Ian Fleming)
  • Click (2006 film)
  • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type (by Doreen Cronin)
  • Huff (2004-2006 TV series)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (by Ken Kesey)
  • Puff the Magic Dragon (1978 film, song by Peter Paul & Mary)
  • The Ring (2002 film)
  • Splash (1984 film)
  • Splat the Cat (by Rob Scotton)
  • Tick, TickBoom! (Musical by Jonathan Larson, 2021 film)
  • Under the Whispering Door (by TJ Klune)

Onomatopoeia is a versatile literary device that makes a great addition to any type of writing.

Playing with sound can amp up your writing style and increase memorability, engagement, and interest in your words. So next time you sit down to write your next masterpiece or your next Instagram caption, try using some of these onomatopoeia examples and don’t be afraid to make some noise! 

If you are trying to find a new way to make your words pop off the page, try incorporating more onomatopoeia examples into your work.

9 Irony Examples on Page and Screen

A fascinating aspect of the human experience, irony can be likened to a twist of fate, an unexpected detour, a curve ball, a plot twist, a Catch-22, or a paradox. Most people know irony when they see it, but it helps to have irony examples to put words to the literary device.