Sunday, January 11, 2009

Uunk works for me

It’s a curious thing that, for all the adaptability of
the English language, no word has yet emerged
to describe the sound of a car door closing. You
don’t in fact close a car door; you don’t shut it;
maybe you slam it, but not always, and in any
case room or house doors are generally slammed,
not vehicular ones. That sound we all know so
well, so distinctive that we recognize it instantly
when we hear it…what would you call it? A thluck?
A skwrnch? An uunk? Suggestions, please.


Anonymous said...

Onomatopoeia-ically speaking (so to speak) it very much depends on whether one is driving ones roller, beemer or the trabant pick up for a laff while in the former East Germany last year. Even the early VW doors sounded very different from my Hillman Minx. (Something to do with the fact they were pretty airtight someone once explained)

Paul said...

Indeed; the sound made when the door closes is often cited as an indication of the quality of the car, and is often described as 'reassuring' when the sound is of high quality. I think you will need more than one onomatopoeic word, in order to differentiate the various degrees of sound.