I was reading the Wikipedia article regarding Cross-linguistic onomatopoeias.

It struck me that the verb for knocking is similar to the onomatopoeia of knocking in various languages.

  • To knock and knock-knock in English
  • Toquer, and toc-toc in French
  • Kucatim, and kuc-kuc in Serbo-Croatian

Seeing as an onomatopeia is defined as

a word that phonetically imitates, resembles or suggests the sound that it describes

Does that mean that in the languages mentioned above, one can conclude that the verb was derived directly from the onomatopoeia?

  • 1
    It is highly unlikely that we could have the kind of detailed history of the development of the word that would prove that the verb was directly from an onomatopoeic word, without which we would not say it was direct, but you can certainly say that it derives ultimately from onomatopoeia. – user6726 Dec 18 '17 at 16:54
  • Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "direct" in my question. I was just surprised to see the verb was derived from the onomatopoeia. My first intuitive thought in Croatian was that "kucati" (to knock) had somehow derived from "kuća" (house). – apat Dec 18 '17 at 18:00

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