Words that sound like their meaning

وسوس
waswasa, "he whispered"
Looks like a reduplication.

Sanskrit phrase sarpa iva svasan 'hissing like a snake', from Mbh. book 12.
 
The abundance of /w/ in Arabic is pure pleasure to my ears. Medial /w/ (& final /w/) isn't particularly common in many IE langs. Latin included.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The abundance of /w/ in Arabic is pure pleasure to my ears.
Aurifex once said something about Chinese people mimicking English speech by saying "wawawa" or something like that. So it would seem they find an "abundance of /w/" in English. And I guess that sound indeed isn't rare in your native tongue; what with all the whats and withs and whiches and wells. Most are word-initial, of course.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Most are word-initial, of course.
Actually, maybe not. Many words that end in O actually end in a /w/ sound, or something very like, even if it's not written.
 
Actually, maybe not. Many words that end in O actually end in a /w/ sound, or something very like, even if it's not written.
Not if you're an Aussie, to which maybe @Lysandra can attest.
3:24
[nɔ˞]
See also this for scintillating scintillation.
 

Agrippa

Civis Illustris
Nescio an vobis et hic placeat versus (Verg. Aen. 8, 596):

„Quadrupedante putrem quatit ungula campum“
 

R. Seltza

Magnus Oculus
Fuck.
 
I've mentioned the heinous word 'squelch', which even the crudest native phonesthetes recognize as unpleasant because:
1. virtually no good English word begins with /skw-/
squeal, squeak, squirt, squaw, squab, squat, squint, squid, squamous, squalid
2. it rhymes with 'belch', which itself reminds one of:
filch, pilch, milch, mulch, gulch

Worst of all, the two associations taken together could produce 'Sasquatch'.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Swahili "mbwa", "dog".
 

DucuntFata

New Member
Peculiar.

Hebrew 'qadosh', 'sacred', 'holy'. Well, it is perhaps rather cymbals or something like it the word makes me think of, but this line (Isaiah 6:3) was the climax in a lot of ecstatic Merkabha and Hekhaloth literature experiences, where it seems to have expressed the manifestation of YHWH as a plurality (tzebhaoth):

QADOSH QADOSH QADOSH
'ADHONAI' TZEBHAOTH

The 'YE'- or 'YA'-sound apparently "sounds like" 'healing', 'salvation', cf. hebrw. Yeshua, gr. Iason - and the cultic shout Jah! Jah! Ja(kkhos)!
 
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Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
It's hard to know where to begin with that post, but I'm afraid it's complete linguistic nonsense.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Swahili "kelele", "noise".
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The word's actually susurrus. It's so easy to get confused. I often do.
 
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