What's the Italian equivalent for words such as, "crash", "bang", "snap", "woosh", "wallop" etc? Are there any onomatopoeia references out there that consolidate these equivalents in Italian?

  • If you refer only to the words that can be found in comic books, I think they are more or less the same. See https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossario_dei_fumetti. Then there are some italianized words, e.g. "bum" for "boom".
    – logi-kal
    Oct 4, 2017 at 8:44
  • 1
    @santos welcome on Italian SE!
    – abarisone
    Oct 4, 2017 at 9:11
  • Is “wallop” actually an onomatopoeia? My dictionary gives its as “from Old Northern French walop (noun), waloper (verb), perhaps from a Germanic phrase meaning ‘run well’, from the bases of well and leap”.
    – DaG
    Oct 4, 2017 at 9:11
  • For wallop I found a likeness with the Italian term patapum
    – abarisone
    Oct 4, 2017 at 9:13
  • @abarisone, yes, but I just questioned the English word “wallop” being an actual onomatopoeia, since it doesn't seem to derive “from a sound associated with what is named”, but from other word roots.
    – DaG
    Oct 4, 2017 at 9:21

1 Answer 1


Among most commons onomatopeias pertaining pets there are those diffused in language of and for children

bau (dog's barking, woof),
miao (cat's meow),
grrr (sound of growl, snarl),
chicchirichì (chicken's cock-a-doodle-doo)

Among most common onomatopeias about things and actions there are:

tic tac(clock),
crac(something breaks),
plin (tinkle),
din don (doorbell or bells in general),
eccì (achoo),
brr (used when one feels cold)

They're often used in a replicated form

bau bau,
plin plin,
crac crac

or in only one syllable:

patapum (wallop),
patatrac (a huge mess)

Onomatopeias can also be used as substantive

il tic tac della sveglia (clock's ticktoc),
i chicchirichì dei galli (chickens cock-a-doodle-doo),
un patatrac

or produce verbs and substantives

miao (meow) ▶ miagolio / miagolare (to meow)

tic tac (ticktoc)▶ ticchettio / ticchettare. (to tick)

Most of comics onomatopeias remain the same (although some of them may have been "italianized") and come from very common English verbs, such as:

bang (da to bang: esplodere)
crash (da to crash: rompersi)
gulp (da to gulp: inghiottire)
sniff (da to sniff: fiutare)
splash (da to splash: spruzzare)
broooom (da to broom: spazzare)
boom (da to boom: scoppiare, sometimes italianized in bum)
slam (da to slam: sbattere)
sob (da to sob: singhiozzare)
chomp , infine, deriva dall'omonimo verbo che significa "masticare rumorosamente".

You can find some references here:

Treccani - onomatopee La grammatica Italiana

Treccani - onomatopea Enciclopedia dei ragazzi

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