Friday, April 20, 2012

Is "Hákarl" Onomatopoeia?

Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes. A NewScientist Zoologger piece I had read, Zoologger: Meet the polar bear's replacement, whimsically suggests that Hákarl, an Icelandic dish made from rotten shark, may be such a word:
Greenland sharks are perhaps best known as the main ingredient in hákarl, an Icelandic speciality prepared by burying the shark in gravel for several months to ferment the flesh. The result stinks of ammonia and many people struggle to keep it down. One blogger sampled it and wrote: "Hákarl is in fact a good approximation of the sound your throat makes as it contorts and constricts in a desperate attempt to regurgitate the chunks of fetid fish."
Ah, the things that one learns.

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