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.


English onomatopeias: Slam!


As other posts on this blog about onomatopeias (you can see them here), today I’m explaining somethig about this onomatopeia that represents the sound  of a door which has been shut violently.

It can also be used as a verb, and in that case to slam means:

  • ‘to shut hard and noisily,’  with a door;
  • ‘to strike or hit with noise and great impact;’
  • ‘to push or strike violently,’ usually with the prepositions into or against, and
  • figuratively, it means ‘to criticize harshly.’


It can be used as a noun:

  • a slam is something being closed hard and noisily;
  • a noisy impact;
  • a verbal attack;
  • in card games, a slam is the winning or losing of all the tricks or all the tricks but one in a deal of cards, and
  • poetry slam is an event where poets recite poems they have written.

Just a touch of humor, here you can watch Tom Hanks an Samuel L. Jackson performing some parodies of the beatnik poetry slam:


Thanks to WordReference for some information from its section ‘Word of the day’, see full information here:

Word of the Day: slam

English onomatopeias: bark! Yap! Yip!

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A bark is the sharp sound made by a dog, wolf, or fox and, by extension, any sharp sound similar to this, especially when someone is coughing or laughing. It is also used to describe the sound of a gun explosion and, figuratively, a bark is something said rudely, especially an order. As a verb and in reference to dogs or guns, to bark means ‘to make a barking sound,’ and also ‘to say something rudely or harshly.’
 But did you know that although bark is the term for all the short, sharp sounds dogs make, we also use a more specific term for the high-pitched barks made by some small dogs. For that we say they:
or sometimes:
Both these words can also be used as nouns.

Example sentences

I heard a bark and realized there was a dog in the house.
Helen tried to hold back her laughter, but a bark escaped her.
The bark of the gun frightened the birds and they flew out of the trees.
The teacher’s bark soon put a stop to the students’ bad behavior.
My neighbor has eight dogsand they bark all the time.
The gun barked once and the deer fell to the ground.
I don’t like my new boss; instead of talking to the staff, she just barksorders at everyone.


Multi-word forms

bark up the wrong tree: be completely mistaken about something or someone. Example: “I know you think it was me who stole your pen, but you’re barking up the wrong tree! It was Dan.”
their bark is worse than their bite: said of someone who seems harsh on the surface, but is not as bad as you think. Example: “Don’t worry if the boss shouts at you; his bark is worse than his bite. He won’t actually fire you for such a small mistake.”
bark at the moon: protest about something without having any effect. Example: “You can complain about the new highway all you like, but it won’t make any difference; you’re just barking at the moon.”

Additional information

In botanics, bark is the outside covering of a trees and, as a verb, to barksomething means to ‘to rub off or scrape the skin off something, as by bumping into something.’ So, for example, if you walk into a low table and graze your knees, you can say that you barked your knees on the coffee table.


Bark dates back to before 900. It comes from the Middle English word berkenand the Old English word beorcan; it is related to the Old English word borcian,meaning ‘to bark,’ the Old Norse word berkja, ‘to bluster,’ the Lithuanian wordburgė́ti, meaning ‘to growl’ or ‘to quarrel,’ and the Serbo-Croatian word br̀gljati,meaning ‘to murmur.’

Thanks to WordReference, see more information here.

English onomatopeias: Snap!

La semana pasada inauguré la sección de Interjections i ahora lo hago con la de Onomatopeias.SNAP-logo-300x235

A pesar de que en el diccionario no encontramos esta palabra con la categoría gramatical de onomatopeya, yo he querido incluirla en esta sección porque representa un sonido en algunas ocasiones. Además de ello, snap, tiene otras categorías gramaticales y significados.

To snap means ‘to make a sudden cracking sound,’ ‘to break something with a cracking sound,’ or ‘to move or strike with a loud noise.’ To snap is also ‘to speak sharply’ or ‘to lose control.’ As a noun, a snap is a sudden sound from something breaking or striking something. It can also be a short period of time or, informally, a quick and easy task.

Example sentences

Tom realized someone was behind him when he heard the snap of a twig.
The strong winds snapped the old branch in half.
Elizabeth snapped the lid of the box shut.
I asked her what was wrong, but she just snapped at me.
The pressure got too much for Jeremy and, finally, he snapped.
The snap of the door closing woke Nell from her sleep.
We had a snap of cold weather just after Christmas.
Robert is so lucky; learning new languages is a snap for him.


Words often used with snap
Snap is also when you make a snapping noise with your fingers, usually by striking two fingers on the same hand together. We can say just snap, or snap your fingers.
Example: “It is rude to snap (or, snap your fingers) at waiters when you want to get their attention.”
Snap is also the noun for this movement of your fingers. For example, “With a snap of his fingers, the magician made my wish come true.”
Multi-word forms
Snap something up: to grab something quickly or before anyone else can. Example: “When she saw how cheap the shoes were, Joyce snapped them up.”
Snap out of something: make an effort to pull yourself out of a mood or attitude. Example: “You need to snap out of your daydreaming and do some work, if you want to pass your exams!” (We also often say just “Snap out of it!”)
Snap decision, snap judgment: a decision or judgment made quickly and without much thought. Example: “The old lady made a snap judgment about her granddaughter’s boyfriend as soon as she met him and she never changed her mind.”
Did you know?
A snap is also an informal word for a photograph, short for “snapshot,” and can be used as a verb to mean ‘to take photographs.’ Examples: “I have some snaps from my holiday; would you like to see them?” “The photographers were all snapping photos of the stars as they arrived at the premiere.”
Pretty traveler woman with backpack is taking selfie on the top of mountain

Pretty traveler woman with backpack is taking selfie on the top of mountain

Other forms:
snapless (adjective), snappable (adjective), snappingly (adverb)
Snap dates back to the late 15th century and comes from the Dutch or Low German word snappen, meaning ‘to bite or seize.’
Other info:
There are many other meanings of snap. Check the full definition to find out more!