Words are formed from sounds. Those sounds came from the articulation of emotion with things around us. Some words SOUND LIKE the emotion that gave birth to them. Onomatopoeia describes this phenomenon: noma (name) and poiein (to make). But it is not that some human mind once said, “Hmmm, how could I construct a word that sounds like what I am referencing? Rather, the urge to make a sound arose and over time grew into a word. Let’s illustrate.
From the list provided (by Penlighten) one of my favorites is the word gargle. Right now, tip your head back and pretend to gargle. You hear a rumbling. Now touch the back of the tongue to the roof of the mouth twice: there’s the word! The urge to communicate came first: then, the word.
Mothers may not want to admit it, but Baby’s first word tends to be “DaDa.” Try it. Start with the “ahh,” the most basic sound we can utter. No wonder the doctor asks us to say it. No wonder the sound God has it (Gahhd) Allah too–and Jawah. No wonder we say it when we deeply understand something: “Ahh.” Now totally relax your tongue in the floor of your mouth with it touching the back of bottom teeth. Open and say Ahh. Close. Open and say Ahh. Close. Soon enough it will come to sound like DaDa. You, baby, are not trying to say DaDa, you are just learning to communicate. DaDa didn’t get named and Baby learned it; Baby spoke and the parents listened and learned.
MaMa is far more difficult to sound. Try that Ahh Ahh again and now let’s put 2 m’s before it. Wow, that takes muscular coordination! A smile is formed, the lips stretch, the lips muscle back in a curl and the MaMa comes. Now feel that! You are making the gesture of — ta da! — sucking on her tit! You may think it’s more basic than saying “Hi” to Dad, but what was basic was the sucking itself; the word came later.
Words are not random, people. Oh, it’s English, you say? Ask your French and Spanish and Chinese friends how to say DaDa and MaMa in their own tongue. You’ll see. Oh, also ask about God.
Now say violin. Linger on the first letter. There you have a violin.
And what about that “Eeeek!” Your teeth form a barrier, the scary frown comes to the front, and the “eee” vower is the most closed back-of-mouth vowel you can make! No spider or mouse is going to get in that opening! It’s the very opposite of what you say to the doctor when you want to let him in: “Ahhhh.”
Hopefully some of the poems and writing here come from a bed of underlying emotion rather than from the frosting of the mind.