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

Puff

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.

Hash

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.

Dash

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!

slam-the-door

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.’

keep-calm-and-don-t-slam-the-door-25

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 interjections: rats!

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As the interjection explained on my last post, Oh flip!, this one, rats!, is also a mild expression of annoyance, though this can sound dated now.

It isn’t at all rude and you can say it in front of anyone. For example, you might say:

“Rats! I’ve missed my bus.”

Words often used with rat

  • smell a rat: think something is wrong, become suspicious. Example: “The kids all swore they hadn’t done anything wrong, but they weren’t behaving normally and their mom smelled a rat.”
  • not give a rat’s ass (mainly US, slang): no care at all. Example: “I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think. I’m doing it anyway!”
  • like a rat up a drainpipe: very quickly. Example: “When the prisoner was released and they opened the gate to let him out, he was gone like a rat up a drainpipe.”
  • like rats leaving a sinking ship: said about people deserting something that seems to be failing. Example: “After the poor profits were announced, people started deserting the firm like rats leaving a sinking ship.

Thanks to Wordreference, Word of the Day.

More about rats…

When there are rats in some place, Scottish custom tells that you can make a “rat satire,” a song that is made up at the moment and sung to the rats to encourage them to leave and go elsewhere where there is food.
Diana Gabaldon includes this part of the Scottish tradition on her books series, Outlander. And  also on the TV series from Starz channel. See:

“Ye rats, ye are too many,
If ye would dine in plenty,
Ye mun go, ye mun go.
Go to Campbell’s garden,
Where nae cat stands warden,
And the kate, it grows green.
Go and fill your bellies,
Dinna stay and gnaw my wellies-
Go, ye rats, go!”

Traducción de Carmen Bordeu:

Vosotras, ratas, sois demasiadas,
si queréis cenar en abundancia,
debéis iros, debéis iros.
Id al jardín de los Campbell,
donde ningún gato monta guardia
y la col crece y madura.
Id y llenad vuestras panzas,
no sigáis royendo mis bienes
¡Iros, ratas, iros ya!

 

English interjections: oh flip!

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In UK English, flip can be a mild interjection, used to show annoyance with something. For example, someone might say:

“Oh flip! It’s my cousin’s birthday today and I forgot to send a card!”

Besides…

To flip means ‘to turn something over by tossing it in the air’ or ‘to move or turn something on with a sudden stroke.’ It also means ‘to turn rapidly,’ when talking about pages, or, when used with through, ‘to read quickly.’
Informally, flip has many meanings, such as ‘to react with great shock’ and ‘to become very excited or enthusiastic’ about someone or something, usually followed by the preposition over. As a noun, a flip is a somersault in the air, as well as an instance of flipping.

 

Example sentences
Roger flipped the burgers on the barbecue to cook the other side.
Linda flipped the switch and all the lights came on.
John wasn’t really reading the book, he was just flipping the pages.
The boss always flips through the reports, looking for the important points.
Ellen’s going to flip when we tell her the news!
Teenagers everywhere have flipped over this new band.
The gymnast performed a perfect flip.

Again, in UK English, you can also use the related adjective “flipping” to describe something that is annoying you. Example: “This flipping computer keeps crashing and I really need to get my work finished!” It really is a very mild word that is unlikely to cause offense to anyone.

Multi-word forms
flip out: to lose control, especially to become very angry or very excited. Example: “Adam’s parents flipped out when he told them he’d crashed their car.” “My parents are going to flip out when I tell them I got the highest score on the test.”
flip-flop: This can be a verb, meaning to move from one side to another. Example: “Sometimes politicians flip-flop on issues if they think it will get them more votes.”
As a noun, a flip-flop refers to such a move from one thing to another. It is also a usually waterproof, backless sandal with a strap between the toes that is often worn at the beach or pool. In the US we can also call these thongs or thong sandals.
Additional information
A flip is also a mixed drink made with liquor or wine, sugar, and egg, topped with powdered nutmeg and served hot or cold. In the 18th century, it used to be a drink made with beer or ale mixed with rum or other liquor, sweetened and served hot.

Porto_Flip

Other forms:
flippant (adjective), flipper (noun)
Origin:
To flip, meaning to turn something over, was first used in the late 16th century. It’s thought to be either a contraction of fillip or a variation of flap; in either case, all three words probably came from the sound something makes when it is turned over quickly in the air. As a noun, flip first appeared in the late 17th century, to describe a somersault where men put first their hands and then their feet on the floor. It was part of a dance. Soon this meaning was widened to anything that could be turned quickly in the air.
 Thanks to WordReference

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:
“yap”
or sometimes:
“yip.”
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.

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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.

Origin

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 interjections:Push off!

Push off!

go-away

Push off is  a informal way, in UK,  of telling someone to go away.

Example: “I’m trying to work and you keep distracting me! Push off!”

And… Push

Full length side view of businesswoman pushing broken down car at countryside

Full length side view of businesswoman pushing broken down car at countryside

– To push means ‘to move something or someone away from yourself using force.’
– It is also used figuratively meaning ‘to urge someone to do something’ or ‘to      promote or demand something with energy.’
– Informally, to push means ‘to sell drugs.’
– As a noun, a push is the act of pushing, a strong and determined effort to achieve  something, or a military attack.

 

Example sentences
The father pushed his child on the swing.
My husband always pushes me to follow my dreams.
The politician really pushed her proposal for the new law.
Some addicts end up pushing to pay for their drugs.
Bill gave the door a push and it swung open.
I know you’ve all worked really hard and you’re tired, but if we make one last push we can get the project finished by the end of the month!
The general ordered a massive push for the following day.

Multi-word forms

Push someone around: try to make someone do what you want. Example: “I know he’s your boss, but he shouldn’t talk to you like that! Don’t let him push you around.”
Push something through: get approval for something. Example: “The government is trying to push through new security measures.”
At a push (UK): just about, if you really have to. Example: “I’m very busy at the moment, so I can’t do this work until Friday. At a push, I might manage to do it on Thursday, if you really can’t wait.”
When push comes to shove, if push comes to shove: when you are forced to take action. Example: “My brother and I don’t always get along, but when I lost my job last year, he really helped me out. I guess that when push comes to shove, he does really care about me.”

Did you know?

A word related to push is pushover, which is an informal term for someone who always gives in to what others want. For example, if a parent tries to send the kids to bed, but the kids beg to be allowed to stay up and the parent gives in, you could call that person a pushover.

Other forms

pusher (noun)

Origin

Push dates back to the second half of the 13th century and comes form the Latin word pulsāre (see pulsate), the Middle French word pousser, the Old French wordpo(u)lser, and the Middle English word pushen, poshen, or posson.

See full definition

Thanks to Wordreference dictionary for its section Word of the day.

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.

bigstock-hand-snapping-fingers_356799

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)
Origin:
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!