Personification Examples

Personification (or anthropomorphism) is the act of ascribing human characteristics or human form to something that is not human. The thing which is being personified can be living (such as an animal), inanimate (such as a vehicle) or even just a concept (such as justice or time). Giving a non-human object any human emotions, desires, movements, expressions or speech is described as personification. Personification can range from using a few human characteristics in a way which enhances simple descriptions, right up to giving something a complete human persona and fully fledged character. The device has been used for thousands of years by humans, with different purposes.

Personification Examples

In Literature

Personification in literature dates back thousands of years. Well-known collections of fables, such as Aesop’s Fables used animals with human qualities to help to illustrate some of the principles of life. These “animals” helped people to understand morals or messages which may not have been easily explained otherwise. The use of personification as a moral teaching tool continued throughout the ages with many cultures telling their children cautionary fairy stories involving personified characters, such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears. These tales usually included a moral message.

Time and Death are both examples of concepts which are frequently personified. Many stories focus on people trying to cheat death, or stop the passage of time by interacting with human versions of these ideas. These stories are often symbolic of people’s overwhelming feelings of futility in the face of death or the endless passage of time. By giving these “foes” human form, they are easier to fight against. Depending on the depiction, these concepts can be portrayed as either male or female.

In another aspect of literary description, writers give completely inanimate objects human characteristics in order to make their descriptions more vivid. For example, in the phrase “the wind howled mournfully”, the wind is not literally howling in a mournful fashion, but the rich description gives the reader the chance to properly imagine the state of the weather.

In History

Archaeologists and historians have found paintings and sculptures dating back hundreds of years, showing animals in poses which are human, or showing animals behaving as though they were human. It is likely that early humans attempted to give animals human qualities in an attempt to make sense of the world around them. Giving the unknown qualities of the known can help to make things more explainable. It has also been suggested by archaeologist Steven Mithen that ancient hunter-gatherers would personify the animals that they hunted, so that they could better understand their movements and actions, thus making it much easier to track them.

In Art

Various forms of personification have been used in fine art, including the personification of countries. During the 19th century, a trend emerged for depicting countries as powerful women, who were usually known by the Latin name of the country in question, such as Polonia (Poland), Britannia (Great Britain) and Helvetia (Switzerland). These artistic representations helped to rally national pride and allowed artists to portray international events in more simplistic or understandable terms.

In Film

Some of our most famous films and TV shows rely on personification as one of their major plot devices. The majority of Disney animations involved personified characters, from Mickey Mouse to the Lion King. Aladdin even involves a Magic Carpet which has some very human qualities. Recent examples include Toy Story and Cars, which both focus on the lives and times of normally inanimate objects. Technological progress in the field of animation means that it is now easier than ever to give life to everyday objects.

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Metaphor Examples

Metaphor Examples

Metaphor is a term that crops up time and time again. It is often that you will hear the term ‘metaphorically speaking’, if not in Jim Carry’s voice from The Mask, but what exactly is a metaphor, and what values, if any, do they have.

A metaphor is one of the most valuable tools that a creative has within their arsenal, as it can radically transform the intention of a piece of work. Take Herman Melville’s classic, Moby Dick. There is nothing at all preventing you from enjoying the book from the view-point of its literal representation as a good story about a man who simply hates a whale. Everybody and their screws know that the story is about something more complex than that.

The concept of the metaphor is itself examined within the pages of Melville’s masterpiece, as each of the characters, and indeed the reader will look at the whale as symbolising something much more grander, and for Ahab, it is the reflection of all of his woes, pains and ambition to hunt down and tackle a dream that is consistently evasive and destructive. The tale itself depicts the full extent of human obsession and drive, and how often this sole driven aim is followed to the grave.

Metaphor is a way of explaining things for a more general understanding. If you look through history, you will find that as science has improved, so has our understanding of the world around us.

The best way to understand the complexities, is to link them to something that is completely opposite, and yet related to the subject of that which is being represented. It is therefore a form of analogy which can be seen throughout a number of fields.

Consider in Physics when you are a child, there is little doubt that when you were learning about the solar system, your teacher would bring out a series of balls, or other spherical objects ranging in different sizes. For me there were footballs, garden peas and clumps of putty. Now, there was no way that anybody could be expected to believe that Earth is a tennis ball and Jupiter is a football, but they allowed you to gage in terms that you understand, the true scale of the sizes of the planet, and how many of those smaller shapes could fit within a larger shape.

The common story of the Stalk which parents often tell their inquisitive infants who confront them with the age old question of ‘Where do babies come from?’

Now, you can’t just look down at your child at a tender age of innocence that they were produced by the penetration of an erect penis into the mother’s vagina, for a questionable standard of intercourse, followed by the ejaculation of semen which then inseminates their mother’s eggs. Following nine months (average) of pregnancy, the child emerges in and blood curdling way. No, they would be absolutely horrified if you told them that, and they would not be able to sleep for a month! No, the stalk is a useful and innocent metaphor which provides a child with information which is appropriate at the time.

This is also seen in a number of religious texts. The Holy Bible has often been argued to not be literal and should be viewed as a metaphor. Christianity for example, has often been described as being a metaphor for the movement of the stars, and the it is not literally true. The same can be said for the Ancient Egyptians who believed that the night was constantly at battle with the night, and that wide spread issues such as famine and disease were a product of the God’s which created the world. Due to the complexities of life and insufficient scientific endeavours which were seen is the illiterate regions of the world, simplistic examples were needed in order for life to continue. It is a mark of humanity’s first attempts at philosophy, however like Moby Dick, there are those who view the texts as literal truth.

Like the apparent stories told by Jesus, children are often read stories which have a moral within the stories which they are questioned on once the story is completed. The most common examples of these are Aesop’s Fables.

In the story of The Hare and The Tortoise, the Hare is seen to be showing off, and boasting that he is much faster than the other animals and challenging them to a race which the Tortoise accepts. This both surprises and amuses the Hare, who is obviously much more physically able to win any race. Before the race has even begun, the Hare speaks as though they have already won the race. During the race, the Hare is in the lead and keeps stopping to have a bit of a sleep, as there was no way that the tortoise would win. What resulted was that the Hare fell asleep which allowed the Tortoise to surpass them, and win the race.

This fable, like so many of Aesop’s are Matrix style loading areas for the development of children, who are able to work out what the meaning of these symbols mean in the grander scheme of life. The Hare and The Tortoise, is obviously about the nature of over-confidence to the point that you do not see things through till the end before announcing your results. It also comes with the message that ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ Which of course, is not always the case, but it calls for perseverance in the face of the seemingly impossible.

Metaphor is a truly enriching piece of rhetoric which serves a number of purposes, whether that is artistic in the form of painting, film, writing, or scientific, or philosophically. Although the direct and apparent object is not intended literally, they are to be taken seriously in their representation. The famous ending to Doctor Strange Love: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, shows the true madness of nuclear war in the form of a cow boy riding the bomb like a bucking bronco, hat in hand laughing all the way to destruction.

Idiom Examples

An idiom is a phrase or sentence which should be taken figuratively, rather than literally. Whilst the literal meaning of a sentence would not make sense in the context in which it was used, many listeners or readers are familiar with the most common idioms and therefore understand the intended meaning. Some idioms may seem to be very obscure, but it is often possible to discern the figurative meaning by considering the context in which the phrase is being used. However, when these idioms are taken out of context, it can be very hard for people to work out what they mean. Whilst it is very clear where some idiomatic phrases have originated from, other idioms are less easy to understand, but they are still used because they have become so commonplace that most native speakers can understand their meaning with ease. Idioms can be a couple of words long and used as part of another sentence, or they can be a whole sentence in themselves. In some cases, idioms which are a whole sentence long may also be considered to be proverbs.

Idiom Examples

Examples of Common English Language Idioms

“A bitter pill” – A piece of information which is disagreeable but must be accepted.
“At the drop of a hat” – Instantly and without any hesitation.
“Beat about the bush” – To discuss a topic at length without discussing the main points or difficult aspects.
“Bite off more than one can chew” – To take on more responsibility that one can handle successfully.
“By the skin of one’s teeth” – to only just achieve something or to narrowly avoid disaster.
“Cut the mustard” – to meet the required expectations.
“Have eye’s in the back of one’s head” – to be aware of events which are not happening in front of you.
“Pop one’s clogs” – Die.
“Piece of cake” – A task which is easy.
“Pull someone’s leg” – To tease someone mildly or to tell a joke.
“Put the cat among the pigeons” – To cause trouble or to create a disturbance.
“Raining cats and dogs” – Raining very heavily.
“Spill the beans” – to reveal a secret to someone.
“Take the biscuit” – for something to be particularly bad.
“Through thick and thin” – In good times and in bad times.
“Under the weather” – To feel sick or unwell.
“When pigs fly”- Used to express that something will never happen.
“Water under the bridge” – meaning that something which happened in the past is no longer significant.
Lost in translation

Understanding idioms can be one of the most difficult parts of the English Language for foreign language learners. Whilst many different languages use idiomatic phrases in speech and literature, there are thought to be about 25,000 different idioms in the English language. Although the learner may understand all of the individual words in the sentence, when they read the sentence out in full, it may not seem to make any sense at all! English speakers should not make the mistake of trying to directly translate their idioms into foreign languages either, because idioms are not the same in every language. For example, there are lots of different idioms which refer to death or dying, but most of these phrases do not translate directly from one language to another.

Kicking the Bucket

Here is a selection of foreign language alternatives which mean the same as “to kick the bucket” (to die) does in English:

Danish: To take off the clogs (“at stille trᴂskoene”)
French: To eat dandelions by the root (“manger des pissenlits par la racine”)
German: Look at the radishes from underneath (“sich die Radieschen von unten ansehen”)
Romanian: To turn the corner (“a da colṭul”)
Russian: To give the oak (дать дуба)
Swedish: Take the Sign Down (“ta ner skylten”)
Tlingit: To take one’s basket into the woods (“dákde kákw aawayaa”)
Urdu: The whole elephant was out, but his tail remained trapped (Haathi Nikal Gaya Dum Phans gai)

Some of these may seem easier to guess the meaning of than others. If you think about eating plants or looking at plants from underneath, it is easy to make the logical assumption that the subject of the sentence is underground and is therefore dead. However, other phrases are much harder to understand. Although the true origin of many of these phrases is less clear, linguists can often provide plausible explanations. It is thought that “kick the bucket” may come from the fact that people who were executed by hanging often stood on an upturned bucket whilst the noose was being prepared. Once the bucket was kicked away, the victim would be hanged to death.

Some More Examples of Foreign Idioms

Danish: To Polar bear = to pace up and down (“Ijsberen”)
Estonian: To make an elephant out of a gnat = to make a lot out of a minor issue (“Sääsest elevanti tegema”)
Finnish: To pace around hot porridge like a cat = To talk at length without coming to the real point (“kiertää kuin kissa kuumaa puuroa”)
French: To pedal in the sauerkraut = to go nowhere (“pédaler dans la choucroute”)
German: Dancing on the edge of a volcano = live dangerously (“Tanz auf dem Vulkan”)
Hindi: To excrete hot embers = to be very angry
Gaelic: Like a jackdaw among peacocks = to feel awkward because you are in a unfamiliar situation (“tá si mar a bheadh cág I measc péacóg”)
Italian: To have one’s eyes lined with ham = to be unable to see what’s in front of you (“avere gil occhi foderatidi prosciutto”)
Japanese: Even monkeys fall from trees = even experts can get it wrong (猿も木から落ちる)
Russian: To hang noodles on one’s ears = to tell lies or talk nonsense (Вешать лапшу на уши)
Spanish: Not to have hairs on your tongue = to tell it like it is (“no tenér pelos enla lengua”)
Tibetan: To put up a beer tent = to get married (“chang sa rgyag”)
Turkish: His nose is up in the air = He is conceited (“Burnu havada”)
Welsh: On the back of his white horse = full of mischief (“ar gefn ei geffyl gwyn”)

Oxymoron Examples

The term oxymoron is used to describe the juxtaposition of two seemingly contradictory elements in a sentence or phrase. Whilst the individual elements may seem to strongly contradict each other, the idea or object that they are describing does not have to be a contradiction in terms. The elements which make up the oxymoron do not have to be a pair of single words; an oxymoron may also be made up of multiple words or short phrases. It is even possible to get an oxymoron which just consists of a single word made up of two contradictory elements. For example, the musical instrument “pianoforte”, which can be literally translated as “loud-soft”. Oxymora may be deliberate or they may be accidental constructions which have come about because of the evolution of language or misunderstandings about the true meanings of words. The plural of oxymoron can either be given as oxymorons or oxymora, depending on which etymology is being used.

Oxymoron Examples

What are the main types of Oxymoron?

Oxymora are most commonly created using adjective-noun combinations, such as an “open secret”, a “small crowd”, the “living dead” or a “genuine fake”. In these terms, the words seem to contradict each other, but when they are used together, they manage to create well-known and easily understandable terms. These kinds of oxymora are very commonly used, as an increasing number of concepts, objects and products emerge which can only be described succinctly by using a combination of words which seem to oppose each other. Noun-Verb oxymora are less common, but are still found quite frequently, especially in the literary world. A phrase such as “the silence whistled” is an example of this type of oxymoron.

Oxymora in Literature

In literature, oxymora are often used to highlight real life contradictions or situations where the readers need to be aware of something unusual. William Shakespeare used oxymora in many of his works, as oxymora were considered particularly witty in Elizabethan England. In Romeo and Juliet, oxymora such as “heavy lightness”, “feather of lead” and “cold fire” are frequently used to highlight the confused feelings of the characters, who are both aware that whilst they are beginning to fall in love with each other, their love is considered to be forbidden by both of their families. When the reader or theatre goer sees or hears the oxymoron, they immediately have to consider the implications of what they have just read or seen. For example, when the reader hears the phrase “Parting is such sweet sorrow” in Shakespeare’s work, it becomes very easy to imagine the kind of upset which is felt by two lovers who must part, but who are still filled with the joys of being in love. The oxymora in this scene of Romeo and Juliet highlight the complex nature of love.

Some more Shakespearean Oxymora:

“I must be cruel, only to be kind” – Hamlet
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” – Hamlet
“So foul and fair a day I have not seen” – Macbeth
“Fearful Bravery” – Julius Caesar
“The Fortunate Unhappy” – Twelfth Night
“Very Tragical Mirth” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
“devise some virtuous lie” – Sonnet 72

Using an Oxymoron for Comedic Purposes

Oxymora can also be used for comedic effect in some texts or speeches. The apparent contradictions which are paired together can cause the reader to stop, think and then chuckle when they realise the implications of the phrase. In many cases, they can be used to highlight the inherent conflicts which we face every day. Phrases such as “I can’t tolerate intolerance” are a prime example of this. The infamous Andy Warhol quote “I’m a deeply superficial person” can also considered to be an example of a comedic oxymoron, because superficial is often used synonymously with “shallow”, and therefore deep seems to be a direct contradiction. However, when the meaning of the phrase is actually considered, it actually seems to be quite profound, meaning that the reader or listen has to question the validity of the phrase itself!
Oxymora in Everyday Life

People often use oxymora in everyday speech as a way to add extra flavour to their descriptions. Because we communicate a lot in the modern world, using speech and other media such as the internet, people often get tired of using the same, old descriptions to talk about things. In many cases, people want to give more colourful descriptions to everyday objects. In these cases, it is not uncommon for people to use an oxymoron such as “deceptively honest”, “impossible achievement” and “everyday miracle” to make their descriptions more interesting. Many oxymora have become so commonplace that people do not even realise that their elements can be considered unusual or contradictory! Oxymora may also be used to attempt to put a positive spin on events or to confuse listeners as to the true meaning of the phrase. For example, the phrase “a period of negative growth” is actually a term which can be used to describe a period of decline or an economic recession!

Some other examples of common oxymora which are used in everyday life:

Alone Together
Amazingly Awful
Crazy Wisdom
Disgustingly Tasty
Distinctly Average
Fine Mess
Growing Smaller
Great Depression
Ill Health
New Tradition
Negative growth
Irregular Pattern
Passive Aggressive
Plastic Glass
Pretty Ugly
Random Order
Restless Sleep
Scripted Reality
Strangely Normal

False Oxymora

Occasionally, people will claim that a certain phrase is an oxymoron when it is not actually a proper oxymoron, because they want to imply that the two elements of the phrase are contradictory to each other. This device is often used by comedians in their acts, as a comedic way to undermine something and raise a laugh from the audience. For example, comedians occasionally refer to “business ethics”, “government intelligence” or even “Microsoft Works” as being oxymora. Whilst these are not technically oxymora, the speaker may be of the opinion that the terms are in direct contradiction to one another. These types of phrases are sometimes referred to as rhetorical oxymora.

Ad Hominem Examples

Have you ever found yourself in an argument where you are behaving rationally and logically and coming up with some really valid points only to find that the other person resorts to cheap jibes and personal remarks? We all have at some point in our lives and this sort of arguing is called ad hominem and is derived from the Latin term to mean ‘to the man’ or rather ‘to the person.’ This form of arguing can be incredibly frustrating for the rational minded person on the other side of it as it disregards facts and reason in favour of more personal attacks on the individual’s character in an attempt to disregard their arguments. Ad hominem therefore detracts from the core issues and can arguably suggest that the person is clutching at straws because they are unable to provide a rational response to their opponent. Ad hominem is most commonly seen to be used in individual debates and arguments, in a courtroom scenario, and of course, politics. The mode that this takes is usually an attack on an individual’s personal, social, political, or religious opinions and viewpoints. The arguer who opts for this level of debate demonstrates their own weakness so it is a useful approach to keep in your mind should you ever confront it. As well as attacking person’s views, it is also used to attack their arguments based on race and ethnicity as well as their social class, and so it is a form of prejudice which is still widely accepted today. If one needs to stoop to saying ‘You would believe that because you’re a woman’, then there is a clear fault in that persons arguing and this sort of thinking can generate closed minded individuals who are not prepared to face the issues that are presented to them. Although these forms of argument highlight the speakers lack of supporting claims, it starts to get serious when it is taken as a valid form of argument to those that are observing it, whether that be a domestic disagreement, or whether someone’s life and freedom hand in the balance in a court rooms scenario. It is also work noting that ad hominem is a rather childish and benign form of debate which still has a rather strong effect when used in a public forum or debate. It relies heavily on emotions to degrade an individual who may or may not be making a valid case for your argument. The examples below will demonstrate ad hominem in context that you will understand and that you have probably encountered yourself from time to time.

Ad Hominem Examples

Disregarding an individual’s arguments on raising children and education on the grounds that they do not have children themselves. ‘I sorry, but if you had kids of your own then I might be inclined to listen.
When a lawyer launches a personal attack on an individual they are questioning rather than addressing the case at hand. ‘If you look at the defendant you will see that they are in a mild state of poverty and so they are more than willing to steal in order to secure finances that they need.
When it comes close to elections, politicians are seen to launch attacks on one and other when it comes to certain policy. ‘Well, it was this party that got us into this mess ten years ago!’
Disregarding someone’s argument based on their education. ‘You’re too stupid to understand these issues.’
Using someone’s sexual orientation as an attack on their argument. ‘It’s just a phase and you’ll grow out of it.’
Attacking someone’s arguments based on their religious beliefs. ‘You’re a non-Christian so I wouldn’t expect somebody like you to understand.’
Using race as a means to restrict the argument of an individual, whether they are part of a minority or not. ‘After your race has gone through slavery then you can tell me how unfair your life has been.’
Using generalisations towards somebodies political beliefs to assume that their argument is wrong. ‘Well, all you socialist think the same.’
Claiming that a person’s age restricts them from making a meaningful and intelligent argument. ‘When you’re older, you’ll understand.’
Using marital status as a podium for your superior knowledge of a subject. ‘You can’t say that they have marital problems when you have never been married yourself!’
The use of geographical location as a means of disregarding an individual’s judgement ‘You don’t know the first thing about country living because you live in the city!’
Restricting an individual’s judgement based entirely on that person’s gender. ‘As a man I really don’t see how you can talk about women’s issues.
Using someone’s known background or beliefs to respond in a way such as ‘Of course you would say that, because you believe _____.’
Demeaning a teacher’s decision on grading by insulting their intelligence, e.g., ‘Well, it’s not like you graduated from the best school, so I can see why you wouldn’t know how to properly grade a writing assignment.’
Stating that the ethnicity of the opposing individual keeps him from formulating a valuable opinion, e.g., ‘You are from Great Britain, so you could never understand what it’s like to live in a country like that.’
Relying on socioeconomic status as a means to undermine an opposing individual’s opinion, such as, ‘You wouldn’t understand since you’ve never worked a day in your life.’
Using someone’s lack of interest in sport as a means to attack their arguments on whether their country should host the Olympics. ‘I know that you said that we can’t really afford it, but you don’t like sport so you’d come up with any excuse.’
These example cover the most common forms that you are bound to encounter every once in a while. The truth is it takes nothing to make those sorts of comments, and you can see for yourself that they only serve to stop an uncomfortable conversation from continuing. Try not to stoop down to this level if you can, and if you you’re losing an argument then just admit it.

Onomatopoeia examples

Onomatopoeia is an incredibly fun concept which expresses the wonder of language. These words when written down just appear as though they are seemingly unimportant, however, when spoken all becomes clear. Onomatopoeia deals with words that evoke the sound of that which is being described.

This may sound confusing, but once you see some examples you will see that it all makes perfect sense.

In order to explain onomatopoeia, this article will use some examples of onomatopoeia which you will no doubt encounter on a daily basis.

Onomatopoeia examples

Liquids
Most of us have no problem getting access to water or other liquids and when you are offered them in the form of a drink, or feel it hit your face on the beach, and then there are words that describe those sounds. Here are some of them:

Splash
Spray
Sprinkle
Drip
Drop
Notice the sounds that they make when you say them aloud. The ‘s’ noises that you hear on ‘spray’ gives the sound of waves and sounds very fluid when you speak it. In the word ‘drip’ you get the sound of a dripping tap as it is a blunt word, but the ‘P’ creates the sound of it hitting the sink over and over. ‘Drop’ has the sound of a pebble or stone landing into a lake, don’t you think? Or ‘splash’ if it is a rock or cannonballing humanoid!

The Voices You Hear!
Alright, it is pretty obvious that in most cases you are going to be able to make a sound with your mouth, and not all of them are onomatopoeia obviously, but if you split the mouth into two parts; The throat being one and e lips, tongue and teeth being the other.

Now, these sections of your mouth, as I’m sure you’re aware, deal extensively with the sounds that you make on a daily basis. However, the sound is produced differently.

From the back of the throat you get things like:

Giggle
Growl
Grunt
Gurgle
The ‘g’ sound at the beginning of the word can be felt from the back of your throat, and words like ‘giggle’ which link to laughter, refers to the breaking sound of laughing which is choppy. The fact that it also sounds rather playful also directly links it to its intention. ‘Growling’ vibrates the throat and causes a ‘Grrr’ sound, so ‘growl’

With noises that are associated with the mouth are:

Mumble
Murmur
They are incoherent sounds formed by people who are not really moving their lips. The word ‘mumble’ sounds exactly like the act itself. If you break the word into two parts, ‘mum’ and ‘ble’ then it becomes clearer.

Colliding Objects
These are the words that associate with the sounds that are created whenever you shut a door with great force; hear glass breaking on the floor, or a car hitting another.

Bang
Clap
Click
Crash
Slam
Slap
Thud
These sounds do not have to be inanimate objects, but can associate with sounds that humans and over animals make, such as ‘slap’. The words resonate when you speak them as though they were a firework going ‘Bang’. The sounds stretch and sometimes have a sense that they are ringing.

When the Air Takes You!
The sound of air alone has no real sound of its own, but it is only when it acts on something can you then begin to associate sounds with it. However, many of the words for the sound of wind have sounds that animals make also, like ‘flutter’, for example. These sounds are common place and you will most likely know all of them.

Gasp
Swish
Swoosh
Whizz
Whirl
Words like ‘gasp’ is the noise we make when we breathe-in sharply through surprise or horror and so it is air rushing in. Paper ‘flutters’ in the wind as the pieces make contact with one and other, and as does a kite when the wind gets a hold of it.

Talk to The Animals
Now, some people have dedicated their entire lives to understanding the language of other animals on this planet. So much so that we understand the language of bees perfectly, however, to the layman and the ear alike, these languages just sound like noises.

Take a look at some of the ones below and you will see that they are words that fit the sounds of everyday animals wonderfully.

Baa
Bark
Buzz
Cheep
Chirp
Cuckoo
Hiss
Meow
Moo
Quack
Onomatopoeia is just another example of our need to classify certain sounds appropriately with context. The term can often put people off, but the meaning of it couldn’t be any simpler, and you use and experience them every day. It is our attempts to describe the sounds that we hear around us and we manage to succeed in a multitude of possibilities.

Due to the nature of onomatopoeia, each country will have different words to imitate sounds, so some terms in English may not be understood elsewhere. I have had first-hand experience with this when my friend had a couch surfer from China staying over at her home and we asked her if she wanted a glass of ‘pop’, which is a colloquial term for a fizzy based on the noise that it makes (similar to popping candy).

Language is a rich tapestry which oozes (there’s a good one) out little gems and nuggets and it is what makes live vibrant. It is a true testament to the scope of language that we can attempt to mimic the sounds that we hear in the words that we us. Some of them sound silly, some of them sound perfectly natural. Take ‘oink’ for instance. It is an amusing word to describe the sound that a pig makes!

It is only by isolating these terms for scrutiny that we truly begin to understand the complexity and simplicity of language, and the beautiful paintings that it makes in your mind, and the music that it pours into your ears.

I will leave you with Prang!

Acrostic Poem Examples

Acrostic poems bring me right back to when I was a young boy in primary school. The teacher set colourful paper in front of us and told us about the poems before setting us on our way to create our own. They are really simple and are really enjoyable for children as they encourage them to use associative language to create a feeling from the name or term that is being used.

Commonly, the first word of each line spells out a name or phrase, however they can appear anywhere within. Take a look at some of my examples below and then go away and do some of your own. You can broach any number of topics and it can be really fun to engage in whether you’re a child or adult.

Acrostic Poem Examples

Using the First Letter of Every Line

Spelling out “Swamp”

Squelching footsteps on the ground!

Wellies pulled right up tight!

All around the fog builds up!

Moist marshes!

Pretty stinky if you ask me!

Spelling out “Tea”

Time for a cuppa?

Earl Grey alright, my love?

A ginger nut or two?

Spelling out “Chess”

Chess is the game of kings

Hunched over the board with wrinkled brow

Every move counts

Should I move my knight or pawn?

Surely they’ve thought three steps ahead

Spelling out “Fish”

Fishing requires patience

In the lake they await

Splashing around when they’re hooked on the line

Haddock!

Spelling out “summer”

Summer time and the living is easy

Umbrellas cover me in shade

Maybe we’ll go to the beach

Melting, my ice cream trickled down my hand

Everybody and their dog is out enjoying it

Resorts are packed with sunburnt holiday makers!

Spelling out “winter”

Winter gives me an awful chill

Icicles form on my window ledge

Nights last longer and longer

Tomorrow there will be a snow ball fight and I will win

Ever street is buried in snow

Really slippery floors

Spelling out “spring”

Spring has come

Perfumed smells from all the plants opening again

Roses in bloom

Incredible amount of colour on the trees

Nearby the butterflies flutter

Gardens alive with life once more

Spelling out “autumn”

All the leaves are brown

Under the trees are littered with leafs

Time to prepare for winter again

Underneath my feet the sound of crunching leafs

Nearby a squirrel gathers nuts

Different positions within the lines

Spelling out “Paper”

Please Pass me that paper

A quick note to Aunt Judy

Maybe Patrick would like one too?

Where on earth is that bloody papEr?

Spelling out “Truck”

Across The highway the truck charges on

Pulling up behind a sports caR

Near the Underpass a traffic jam starts

The trucK reaches its destination

Spelling out “Worm”

In the garden a Worm wiggled

I Overturned it with a garden spade

It coiled aRound the time of my finger

Mr worM

Using Names

Spelling out “Philip K. Dick”

PreCogs and Pre-crime

Hunting down runaway androids

Isidore mistakes real for artificial

Lincoln reborn as a Simulacrum

Insanity through false reality

Pris

Kindred

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

In Milton Lumky Territory

Clans of the Alphane Moon

Kindred

Spelling of “Sagan”

Scientific mind of wonder

Astronomer

Gazing at the stars

An agent of reason

Now, sadly no longer alive

Spelling out Shakespeare

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them

Hell is empty and all the devils are here

As soon go kindle fire with snow, as seek to quench the fire of love with words

Knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven

Edward III

Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind

Prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?

Elizabethan playwright

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players

Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving

Entertained the masses

Acrostic Poems by Famous Poets

Edger Allan Poe

Elizabeth it is in vain you say
“Love not” — thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L. E. L.
Zantippe’s talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breathe it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love — was cured of all beside —
His folly — pride — and passion — for he died.

Lewis Carroll – A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky

A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July–

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear–

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die.
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream–
Lingering in the golden gleam–
Life, what is it but a dream?

EllaBella – Terror

Try as I might I can’t get out of bed, stuck to it with fear

Every inch and the horrid shadows get so near

Rogues I can only think of lurk in my dreams

‘Run downstairs’, I tell myself, ‘No more screams!’

Open the door and fear stands in your way

‘Ruthless thoughts, go away, I want to have my own say!’

There are some what I have done myself and some that I have found by published writers, but you could easily write your own, and do a lot better than the ones that I have done. As mentioned it is great for kids, but getting back into the swing of it myself was so much fun.

You can write on anything that you like and approach topics that are close to your heart.