In teaching parts of speech using LEWIS CARROLL'S "JABBERWOCKY" as a sort of puzzle exercise my classes and I came upon the onmatopoetic words "snicker-snack" and I was at a loss to define what part of speech to call this made up sound word, other than to explain that it was a sound spelled out. Is it a part of speech! If so, which?

It depends entirely on how the word is used. Onomatopoeia can be used as many different parts of speech. That's part of why they are so useful! Can you give an example sentence?
Chameleon, you are very correct to say that onomatopoeia has many different parts of speech. Let me take a simple "bowwow" for instance.

1. I hear a bowwow. (noun)

2. Do you hear a bowwow sound? (adjective)

3. The dog barked bowwow. (adverb)

4. The dogs bowwowed. (verb)

Is there any more? Exclamation, maybe.


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One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

-- Lewis Carroll was a total master of English. He knew it so well that he knew how and when to break all the rules on purpose, and to do it so masterfully as to get away with it. (Much like classical composers do with the "rules" of music). Nonetheless, parts of speech can be assigned to the words of the poem Jabberwocky.

In the above, "snicker-snack" is a noun. It describes the noise made by the "vorpal blade".

For some REALLY INTERESTING comments on translating Jabberwocky into other languages, see [url="http://www76.pair.com/keithlim/jabberwocky/poem/hofstadter.html "]here[/url]

One, two! One, two! And through and through
the vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
No, actually it's not! As another respondent was kind enough to point out, it is dependent on the "setting" in which it arises, and in this case the blade went (sounded how?) snicker-snack! Adverb!! Thanks to all for your input.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
wouldn't it be an interjection- it has an exclamation pont and it is kind of like the Pop! or Boom!