In the Japanese Weather Show "Weather News Live", they often show this graphic to describe the weather using onomatopoeias. However, what does ドカドカ mean?

ドカドカ by definition on jisho.org means "Noisily with loud footsteps" or "Walking Strongly Sound". This doesn't seem to imply weather, unlike the other words. Giving some clues is how it's nestled between words describing snow and words describing sleet and blizzards, so I suspect will likely be implying some sort of snow condition? Perhaps this is the sound when you're walking through fresh laid snow, (where each of your steps sinks into the snow a bit compacting the snow causing a sound effect)?


1 Answer 1


Take a look at the entry for "どかどか" on デジタル大辞泉.


While it is true that "どかどか" is strongly associated with the "thud-thud" produced by footsteps, it is also used to evoke the idea of things being or moving in large quantities at a time.

Here are a few examples found on the web involving the precipitation of snow.

どかどかと降っております、雪。 (Link)

たまには東京もどかどかっと降ってほしいものです。 (Link)

日本海側を中心に雪がドカドカと降り(...) (Link)

There is also a related term, "ドカ雪".

I think it's a fair bet the semantic extension from the "thud" sound to the idea of large quantities simply traces the reality of a loud sound being made by things in large quantities as they move or come into contact with some object.

A quick tangential aside -- "どかどか" can also describe the way a single individual walks or runs, and sometimes it has more to do with the manner (rushed, inelegant, discourteous, etc.) or how the speaker feels about it than the sound per se. A couple of examples:


The "どかどか" in this sentence is indicative of the rudeness and offense he felt of the trespassing.


This sentence recounts how the writer's cat Tamako took an insouciant stroll across her Mac computer. (I doubt that any loud sound resembling a thud was actually made in the process.)

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    Great answer. I wanted to ask this earlier when I first read it but it seemed only tangential to your answer addressing weather. Now that you've added that part about rude trespassing, I wonder if ずかずか is comparable or similar in that sense. Is it fair to say something ずかずか is ruder and possibly more violent than どかどか?
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented Dec 17, 2021 at 23:36
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    @Eddie Kal I don't know about "ずかずか" indicating something ruder or more violent than "どかどか", but I think we can say that "ずかずか" is more 擬態的 than 擬音的 compared to "どかどか", and more often about the speaker's negative judgement of certain types of action (mostly movement in relation to a given person) as lacking due respect or reserve.
    – goldbrick
    Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 15:25

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