6 Words for the Sound of Flapping Lips

Have you ever wondered what the sound is called when you close your lips and exhale? That familiar flapping lips sound that resembles a horse has a few different names.

This article will explore the best words for flapping your lips. You should try one of the following:

  • Lip bubbles
  • Motorboats
  • Lip trill
  • Voiceless trill
  • Bilabial trill
  • Blowing a raspberry

The best words for the sound of flapping lips are “lip bubbles,” “motorboats,” and “lip trill.” These terms are the best options to refer to the sound made when keeping your lips closed and blowing out air. You can use any of them to describe the resulting “flapping” sound.

1. Lip Bubbles

“Lip bubbles” is a great way to show that someone blows air through their lips. The “bubbles” portion of the phrase relates to the bubbling effect that you feel between your lips when creating the sound.

Also, since you keep your mouth closed when performing lip bubbles, it’s common for little bubbles to form inside your mouth. That’s where the name comes from and why it can be quite an effective term.

Here are some examples showing you how to use “lip bubbles” in a sentence:

  • She’s always blowing lip bubbles when she doesn’t know what to say. Have you noticed?
  • I think you’re trying to perform too many lip bubbles. Maybe you should articulate more instead.

2. Motorboats

“Motorboats” is an excellent synonym that can work for the sound of lips blowing together. It relates to the sound motorboats make when they are traveling through water.

If you perform a motorboat right now, you’ll hear the similarities. The wobbling lips and engine-like noise make it sound like you’re starting a motorboat engine.

Of course, this term works best for those who are more familiar with boating metaphors. However, you don’t need to know much about boats to know that motorboats make a similar noise to flapping your lips together.

These examples will demonstrate how to use “motorboats” in a sentence:

  • I like to motorboat my lips sometimes. The sensation is quite nice and keeps me distracted.
  • He keeps motorboating his lips while I’m talking. I’m worried that he’s getting bored of me.

3. Lip Trill

“Lip trill” is a great term that musicians and performers adopt before a big show. It refers to “trilling” the lips together to warm the vocal cords before a song or speech.

It’s great to use “lip trill” if you want a more recognizable name. Most performers know what you mean when you say “lip trill,” so it won’t require any more explaining.

“Trill” generally works very well on its own, too. However, a “trill” usually refers to an open-mouth sound, which is why it’s best to include “lip” to show that only the lips produce the noise.

Check out the following examples to see how to use “lip trill” in a sentence:

  • We use a lip trill to warm up before we sing. It’s really good for letting your vocal cords get used to moving.
  • I should lip trill more often before giving my speeches. That way, I’ll be able to warm into it slowly.

4. Voiceless Trill

A “voiceless trill” is another great synonym that uses “trill” to describe the sound. This time, “voiceless” is the adjective, showing that you do not use your voice to create the sound.

Instead of your voice, you simply blow air between your lips. If you keep your lips tightly closed, the resulting “trill” is quite distinguishable.

Here are a few examples showing you how to use “voiceless trill” in a sentence:

  • Why are you doing that voiceless trill? I thought you didn’t prepare for speeches like that.
  • I’m not sure why I just did a voiceless trill. Though, I do like how it felt on my lips.

5. Bilabial Trill

If you’re looking for a more scientific name, try “bilabial trill.” The term “bilabial” means “formed by closure of the lips.”

You can say that you perform a bilabial sound when you do not open your lips. For example, ventriloquists are bilabial performers who keep their mouths closed and use a dummy to talk.

“Trill” works again here to show that a vibrating noise comes from the lips. It’s a great term to use to highlight the sound you’re making.

Why not check out the following examples to see how to use “bilabial trill” in a sentence:

  • It’s not called a bilabial trill for no reason. It’s all to do with keeping the mouth closed.
  • She performed a bilabial trill a few times before starting. That’s why her voice sounded crisp.

6. Blowing a Raspberry

“Blowing a raspberry” is the last synonym you can use. It’s less effective than most of the other choices, so you should only use it in specific circumstances.

You can still use “blowing a raspberry” to show that you keep your lips closed and blow air through them. The noise is created in a similar fashion to “lip bubbles” or a “lip trill.”

However, “blowing a raspberry” is usually done with the lips in more of a kissing shape. The resulting sound is slightly different from lip bubbles, so it’s not as specific as some of the other choices.

So, if you want to know how to use “blowing a raspberry” in a sentence, refer to the following:

  • You keep blowing a raspberry at me, but I’m not sure why. What’s the purpose of it?
  • Stop blowing a raspberry for a second, and listen up! I need you to help me figure this out.