Do you have words that get under your skin because they sound so much like what they are describing? While Onomatopoeia, which in itself, is a super fun word to say doesn’t exactly convey the meaning I intend. Onomatopoeia words are words used to imitate sounds (whack, meow, oink, buzz, etc.). The words I’m going to spread (there’s one right there) on this page are words that bother me because they sound so much like the physical object/being/action they actually are. For example, when I wrote the word spread, I think the word spread sounds exactly like what spread is. Sprrrrreeeeeaaaaadddd. It’s a slow and smearing kind of word as it makes its linguistic exit from your mouth. Here are a few other words that invoke unhappy feelings for me:
Sloth. Sloth sounds just like what a sloth is. Sloth, a lazy slip off the tongue moving at a boringly slow pace and ending in an equally blah ‘th’. Sloth. Took me about an hour just to spit that one out.
Juicy. Juicy conjures up an image of something sloppy and thick, just like the word. It seems to me like a liquid filled object pushed to the seams and ready to explode. Joooooocccccyyyyy.
Moist. What an awful word. Moist. Say it ten times fast and find the emotion you are left with. I’m left with a little moist bile in my throat. A feeling of wearing a wet diaper or wrapping myself in saran wrap on a hot, sunny day.
Pus. Pus sounds exactly like the action of a small explosion of fluid as it actively leaves the body. The explosion of the Puh sound followed by the release of the uh sound and ending with the long relief in the hiss of an ‘s’. Pus.
Chafing. Every time I say or hear this word I can literally feel my thighs rubbing together until they are raw and bleeding. I can see the men at the marathon finish line with nipples chafed so badly they are bleeding through their shirts. Chafing…the accurate sound of sandpaper and the accurate ffffffff sound of skin or fabric repeatedly rubbing until skin goes missing.
Honey Bucket. Why port-a-potty companies went on to name their toilets Honey Buckets is beyond me. For some reason I find these words on the side of mobile, blue chemicaled toilets far worse than if they had just named them The Shitter or Piss Bucket. Honey bucket makes me feel like I can taste the contents or picture thick, runny, sticky, crap being slowly emptied in to the pot of previously expelled honey. Cringe and no thank you.
What words make you feel a little squirmy inside? And, do you know if there is a word to describe the types of words I’ve posted above since they are not technically Onomatopoeias?