Origins – Soundings.

Cacophony is itself a harsh-sounding word – and is the only one that exactly describes the unmusical, grating, ear-offending noises you are likely to hear in man-made surrounding: the underground trains thundering through their tunnels (they are also eye-offending, for which we might coin the term cacopsis, noun, and cacoptic, adjective), the traffic bedlam of rush hours in a big city, a steel mill, a car factory, a blast furnace, etc. Adjective: cacophonous.
These words are built on the Greek roots kakos, bad, harsh, or ugly, and phone, sound.
Phone, sound, is found also in:
1.telephone – etymologically, ‘sound from afar’.
2.euphony – pleasant sound.
3.phonograph – etymologically, ‘writer of sound’.
4.saxophone – a musical instrument (hence sound) invented by Adolphe Sax.
5.xylophone – a musical instrument; etymologically, ‘sounds through wood’ (Greek xylon, wood).
6.phonetics – the science of the sounds of language; the adjective is phonetic, the expert a phonetician.
7.phonics – the science of sound; also the method of teaching reading by practising the sounds of letters and syllables.
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