1. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    That thing when you sorf of laugh, sort of snort...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by TLK, Sep 16, 2013.

    Ok, this is going to be really hard to explain, but here goes...

    Essentially, in some scenes in my planned novel, I envision characters doing this thing. It's where you snort, but not like a pig, you make a "huh" noise, though you don't use your mouth, it's more of an inhalation of air through your nose. It's something you do when you find something vaguely funny or amusing, or you're appreciating some wit. It's not funny enough to make you laugh, but you're like "heh".

    So, what's it called? Is there a name for it? Saying "Bob sort of laughed, sort of snorted", doesn't really work well.
     
  2. Dean Stride
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    Dean Stride Contributing Member

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    Are you looking for the word snigger?
     
  3. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    Perhaps I am, though I always thought "sniggering" was a prolonged action and was used in a more contemptuous way. I.e. you would snigger at someone who'd failed at doing a simple task.
     
  4. Dean Stride
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    Dean Stride Contributing Member

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    Well, it's a close proximate. Maybe what you were looking for was right there all along: snort?

    I looked some other variants on the net, here's what I found:

    Snortle (slang) - A hearty laugh that is punctuated by a snort on the inhale.

    Whicker -
    1 utter a half-suppressed laugh; snigger; titter : a half-loony whicker of nerves.

    • (of a horse) give a soft breathy whinny : the palomino whickered when she saw him and stamped her foreleg.

    2 move with a sound as of something hurtling through or beating the air : the soft whicker of the wind flowing through the July corn.

    noun

    1 a snigger; a soft, breathy whinny.

    2 the sound of something beating the air.
     
  5. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    Yeah, 'snort' does actually sound good. Maybe "snort with laughter".

    "Whicker" looks like a nice alternative, but I'm not sure if many people will know what it means. In fact, as I write this, my laptop is underlining it in red...

    Thanks for your help though! :)
     
  6. Dean Stride
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    Dean Stride Contributing Member

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    Sorry I couldn't manage to find a solution for you. :D I tried.
     
  7. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    No, no, you did quite the opposite. You may not have replied saying "oh, it's this", but you've given me some ideas and helped me do a little brainstorming, which always helps a great deal!
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Is what you're looking for "chuckled"?

    And I find it's more of a short breath breathed out through the nose, like a gasp, but reversed. Do it now - when you're laughing without your mouth, the air comes out, not in. And since it's not laughter, you can't even justify it with a gasp.
     
  9. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    snort, chortle, guffaw, exhaled, scoff

    I have run into a the challenge of a dearth of words to explain the various sounds people make in conversation. Sometimes I explain them. Sometimes I put them in dialog and write them out like, "Pssh." The I use snort, exhale, scoff a lot.
     
  10. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    Well, I've been using "Tch", as a replacement for now.

    I think scoff/snort with laughter is probably closest. To be honest though, it's whether that would be better than using something like "Tch" or "Pssh"
     
  11. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    Oh no! An accidental double post!
     
  12. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    When my characters snort with laughter, I say just that ... they snorted. Seems like it's the best description to me! People know what it is, right?
     

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