As I understand it, “phhhht”, when written in prose, is meant to represent the raspberry sound. But, when you read it, does your mind’s ear hear it as the classical raspberry/Bonx cheer, or as a softer sound, closer to the way it is written? Is “phhhht”, in fact a sound effect whose pronunciation is contingent upon context? Consider the following two sentences:

As Billy inserted the lit bottle rocket into the Pepsi bottle’s orifice, all of a sudden, PHHHHT, it shot right in his eye.

As Dr. Bill inserted his lubricated finger into the patient’s bottom oriface, all of a sudden, PHHHHT, it shot right in his eye.

Do you hear Phhhht the same way in both sentences? I always hear it with the softer pronunciation, despite the context.


I’m hearing foooot with my “mind’s ear”, the “o’s” being silent and short.

Perhaps the insertion of an “s’” somewhere would provide a better approximation of the sound, especially in the latter example.


That one would make me duck and leave the room.

I write it as pbbbbt! instead of phhhht! for the raspberry sound.

Or maybe not.

Sorry, OP. Completely missed the fact that you were going for the raspberry.

Don’t know how I’d make that sound, but phhhhht sure as hell isn’t right.

Maybe an r to make it sound like phhhhhhrrrrrt (fart)?


pbllllllt! :þ

Yep. You deffinatly need some "L"s in there.
“Phhhht” is the sound of a lit cigarette being dropped in the toilet.

The only way to spell out the sound is pbbth. :smiley:

I hear an aeresol spray when I read “Phhhht”.

The “Phhhht” sounds more like air being let out in a steady stream. Whenever I think of the raspberry sound, I think more of a Bill-Watterson-esque “Thbpbpbphtht!”

Go here for more written depictions of the Bronx cheer. :slight_smile:

There’s a country song called “I’d have wrote you a letter, but I couldn’t spell <raspberry>” Problem is, several websites mention the song (usually in a list of worst-ever country song titles, or similar), but all of them have the last word as “yuck”, whereas he quite clearly blows a raspberry on the record.

Anybody know how it’s spelled on the record or sheet music? Or who recorded it?

Indeed, there appears to be quite a large variety of spellings for the lowly raspberry. In the spirit of literary excellence and continuity, I propose that a single spelling be chosen as the standard. Can you think of any other words or sounds with as many alternate spellings? I can’t.