Some words sound very good to me when they are combined. For example, the sport "ping pong", the cartoon character "Mickey Mouse", and the phrase "busy bee" sound better than "ping lock", "Mickey Eagle" and "busy whale".

I have written down a sentence below.

(ex) "Ping pong", "Mickey Mouse" and "busy bee" have harmonious or pleasant phonetic combinations.

In this context, can I use the phrase "harmonious or pleasant phonetic combinations" as an alternative for either "sound very good" or "pleasant-sounding? Does it make sense? Thanks.

  • If you are writing an essay, you should point out that they are alliterative.
    – Mick
    Dec 5, 2016 at 8:35
  • For reasons that speech therapists/linguists can explain, we find it natural and harmonious to voice certain sounds ahead of others: thus sing-song, ping-pong, ding-dong and never (or very seldom) the reverse. Conversely, other tongue-twisting sequential sounds take a lot of effort. She sells sea-shells etc.... Dec 5, 2016 at 8:51

1 Answer 1


There are several aspects that make particular words sound pleasant together. Here are some:

alliteration - similar sounding beginnings - picture perfect, bad boy

assonance - similar sounding vowels - bat man

rhyme - similar sounding endings - reason/season, thick/brick

onomatopoeia - representing the sound that the word refers to- buzz, sizzle, hum

You can combine these in expressions like lovey-dovey (assonance and rhyme), mish-mash (alliteration and rhyme) fat cat (assonance and rhyme). busy bee (alliteration and onomatopoeia).

The phrase that you suggested sounds like a reasonable general description of these effects: if you wish to look for more specific wording,, you could use the above terms as a starting point for further research.

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