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Word of the Week: Onomatopoeia

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Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each week to amp up your nature vocabulary!

The honk of a goose, the hiss of a snake, the hoot of an owl! Where do all these words come from? This week’s word of the week is all about these nature sounds! Onomatopoeia [aa-nuh-maa-tuh-pee-uh] (noun): the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it.

Onomatopoeia stems from Greek where it literally translates to ‘name-making’. These phonetically imitating words can be described as onomatopoeic, onomatopoetic or echomimetic. Some other common onomatopoeic words used to describe the sounds of animals and birds in High Park include the ribbit of a frog, the buzz of a bee and the quack of a duck!

Try coming up with some creative onomatopoeia of your own based on sounds you hear from wildlife in your vicinity!

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