When talking about the sound of spitting, it might be nice to have some spit onomatopoeia lined up to impress your friends, colleagues, or readers. This article will explore the best options for spit onomatopoeia and how you can use them correctly.
What Are The Best Ways To Spell The Sound Of Spitting?
While not the most common thing to create a sound for, there are still a few good options. The following options present the best choices for us for onomatopoeia in this regard:
The preferred version is “ptui” because it’s the officially recognized spelling for the onomatopoeia sound. We use it when trying to imitate the spitting sound, and it’s widely accepted by native speakers that this is a suitable sound to associate with spitting.
It might help to go through the preferred version first. “Ptui” is the best choice, and you’ll find that a lot of dictionaries recognize it too.
“Ptui” is the best spelling variation we can use to talk about spit as onomatopoeia. It takes the “p” noise as the first noise made by the mouth to gather up the phlegm. The “tui” is the noise of the spit being forcibly launched from the move.
The definition of “ptui,” according to The Collins Dictionary, is “used to indicate the sound or act of spitting.”
Interestingly, “ptui” is listed as an American English spelling in the definition we provided above. It’s likely that American English speaking value “ptui” more than any other spelling because it’s officially recognized by their language, making it the most suitable option.
People often use it as an interjection, which is a portion of a sentence we throw in when something unexpected happens or when someone exclaims something. It works well when followed by an exclamation point for that very reason.
It might help to see some examples of how the punctuation and interjection work for the onomatopoeia word. You can use it in the following ways:
- Ptui! I don’t want anything to do with him.
- Ptui! That’s what I think about the comment you just made!
- Ptui! Sorry, I had something in the back of my throat that just wouldn’t leave!
- Oh, ptui! I don’t care for your remarks or insults.
The pronunciation of “ptooey” is the same. However, it’s slightly less common (but still officially recognized as a spelling). Many people like to use this variation.
“Ptooey” is identical to “ptui,” it’s just a different spelling. We again use the “p” sound to gather the spit in our mouths, using the “tooey” noise to launch it out once we’ve finished with it.
The definition of “ptooey,” according to The Collins Dictionary, is “an imitation of the sound of spitting.”
Like how “ptui” was American English, The Collins Dictionary lists “ptooey” as British English. This might indicate why it’s slightly less popular, as British English is less prevalent today compared with American English.
However, what is interesting is the Disney song “Gaston,” from the movie Beauty and the Beast, uses the British English spelling. In this song, “ptooey” is used as part of the lyrics and is spelled in that way to indicate that Gaston is spitting into a bucket.
The line is as follows:
- I’m especially good at expectorating! Ptooey!
You might see “ptooey” work as follows:
- Ptooey! I don’t care about whatever it is you’re trying to sell me.
- Ptooey! He has no respect for me, so I give him none back.
- Ptooey! What did you put inside this curry?!
- Ptooey! I can’t handle all of that spice!
While not officially recognized, the next best option comes with “spitooey.” It follows similar spelling trends (the term “sptui” is also acceptable, but very rare).
“Spitooey” is a play on the British English spelling. This time, we include “spit” as the sound made by someone trying to form the phlegm in their throat. The “tooey” portion of the word stays the same, indicating that someone is spitting.
It’s not an officially recognized form, and it’s not as common as the two variations we provided above. However, there are still some places where it is used.
It’s likely that “spitooey” came from a misunderstanding of the onomatopoeia words “ptui” or “ptooey.” Someone might have assumed that “spit” needed to be a part of the sound made.
However, if you try to spit something yourself, you’ll notice that you don’t say “spit” or make a sound similar to “spit” when you do so. Therefore, “spitooey” isn’t as strong a choice as the other two.
You can use “spitooey” as follows;
- Spitooey! I can’t believe you thought you’d get away with that!
- Spitooey! You just punched one of my teeth out!
- Spitooey! I’m especially good at getting my spit in a bucket.
- Spitooey! I have no respect for you!
The last variation we want to show you is “ach-tooey.” We use “ach” to come up with a slightly different sound, but the onomatopoeia presented here is the same.
“Ach-tooey” is the most aggressive onomatopoeia variation of the bunch. We use the “ach” sound to forcefully cough up as much phlegm as we can before using “tooey” to spit it out again.
Using “ach” in this way usually works when someone is trying to develop a lot of spittle or phlegm. It’s appropriate to use something like this when there is a lot of phlegm in one’s throat (i.e., when they’re sick and need to cough it up).
Still, it works really well when you want to be slightly more aggressive than some of the other variations. You might find that people use “ach-tooey” when they want to spit on a person or spit toward a person to show that they have no respect for them.
The following will show you how “ach-tooey” works:
- Ach-tooey! I had to cough that one up.
- Ach-tooey! Sorry about that, I couldn’t get it out!
- Ach-tooey! I sounded just like a cat doing that!
- Ach-tooey! I don’t want to hear any more.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.