2

I've read that ピカドン (onomatopoeia for a flash and for a loud bang) is used for atomic bombs, but is it, or was it prior to Hiroshima, used to describe the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder?

3

Both ピカピカ and ドン/ドーン were (and still are) fairly common and generic onomatopoeias. ピカピカ existed before WWII (confirmed on 青空文庫).

If I understand correctly, their combination, ピカドン, specifically referred to atomic bombs. It originated from onomatopoeias, but ピカドン itself is a noun.

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