A Fun Competition

There’s a competition at the end of this post.

I listened to this week’s Last Word from BBC Radio 4. Sir Richard MacCormac, an architect who recently died (obviously, otherwise he wouldn’t be on Last Word) said, after explaining that his interest in architecture came from making things as a child:

I now feel an essential aspect of creativity is a kind of playfulness.

This is certainly true of writing. Writers enjoy playing with words. When penning my last post, I particularly liked the beginning paragraph:

These are the comments that halted me in my perusal of the Internet this morning and made me decide to pour out part of my inner world. Sorry if it makes a stain on your day.

Although I went on to some serious stuff, I had fun playing with the opening words.

My Scrabble partners, A, G and D, and my Boggle partners, D and D, will testify to my love of word games. Most writers play word games when they write, employing several techniques in the process. One of those is onomatopoeia. says this is:

1. the formation of a word, as cuckoo, meow, honk,  or boom,  by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent.
2. a word so formed.
3. the use of imitative and naturally suggestive words for rhetorical, dramatic, or poetic effect.
In other words, I’m talking about words that sound like the things they represent.
Then I came across a list of Hebrew onomatopoeic words, which I have tried to transliterate as closely as possible:
  1. Tsartsar
  2. Bakbook
  3. Zimzoom
  4. Rishroosh
  5. Tiftoof
  6. Girgoor
  7. Gimgoom
  8. Pkak
  9. Pitzpootz

So here’s the competition. Without looking anything up (I’ll have to trust you on that), can you guess what those words mean? Write your answers in the comments and I’ll decide who wins the prize of… well, it depends who wins and whether that person has read Neither Here Nor There, but it might well be the novel itself.

Hint: They are all nouns and most of them translate to “ing” words.


  1. The competition is open to anyone who doesn’t know Hebrew.
  2. The competition will end when I decide to end it, so don’t tarry.