What’s the word for when a word means what it seems like it should mean?

I’m not talking about onomatopoeia—I don’t mean a word that describes a sound—I mean something along the lines of an aptronym, i.e. a perfect name such as Anthony Camera for a photographer (true story). What is the word for when a word just sounds like exactly what it means? I heard the word for this once, long ago, and have since forgotten it.

“Push” and “Pull” might be examples, in that the sounds they form evoke the physical actions denoted.


Perhaps you’re thinking of an ideophone, a broader idea than just onomatopoeia (not restricted to sound).

Mark Dingemanse explains ideophones:

English, for example, has ideophonic words like glimmer, twiddle, tinkle which are depictive of sensory imagery: their form betrays something of their meaning in ways that words “chair” and “dog” do not.

Source : Link , Question Author : Taj Moore , Answer Author : aedia λ

Leave a Comment