Almost onomatopeias

They are nouns or verbs, but I think they are close to the onomatopeias, because of the sound and the action they represent.

Puff                   Hash                   Dash


is a short blast of air or smoke, as well as the sound made when giving off a puff, and the act of inhaling and exhaling on a cigarette or pipe.

  • A puff of wind blew the papers off the table.
  • A single puff of smoke came out of the chimney.
  • Can I have a puff on your cigarette?

It is also a ball of choux pastry baked and filled with something sweet. To puff means ‘to blow with a short blast,’ as wind sometimes does, ‘to give or let out in a puff,’ and ‘to move with a puff.’

  • We had coffee and cream puffs.
  • Winston was puffing on his cigar.
  • The steam train puffed into the station.
  • Jim puffed the cushions on the couch.

See more information here.


In cooking, hash is a dish of cooked meat and potatoes cut up into small pieces and browned together.

  • We’re having hash for dinner tonight.

It is also a synonym for mess or jumble and it also refers to the reworking of old material used for a new purpose.

  • The detective had to sift through a hash of information in his attempts to solve the crime.
  • The author’s book was a hash of various articles she had written and conference papers she had given over the previous year.

As a verb, to hash means ‘to chop into small pieces,’ ‘to discuss something thoroughly,’ usually with “over,” and, in US English, “to mess something up.”

  • Rob is busy hashing the meat for tonight’s meal.
  • We spent the afternoon hashing over our plans for the following week.
  • The actor hashed his lines.

See more information here.


To dash means ‘to strike or smash violently’ or ‘to break into pieces by striking or smashing,’ ‘to throw violently,’ and, when we’re taking about paint or anything similar, ‘to apply roughly.’

  • As the storm intensified, waves dashed the shore.
  • The wind dashed the fence to pieces.
  • In a fury, Chloe dashed the wine glass against the wall.
  • The artist dashed great splashes of color onto the canvas.

More generally, it also means ‘to ruin or destroy’ and ‘to move with great speed.’

  • The accident dashed Alex’s hopes of becoming a professional soccer player.
  • It was raining hard, so we dashed from the car to the restaurant.

As a noun, a dash is a small quantity of something, a sudden movement, and also a short race.

  • Add a dash of soy sauce to the mixture.
  • The cat made a dash across the road.

See more information here.

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