1. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Contributor

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    Is there a word for exhaled sharply? Like a silent snort.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Elven Candy, Aug 8, 2016.

    Sometimes while I'm writing I want to make a character exhale sharply, like a silent snort. Usually it's in disgust or stubbornness (or both). Is there a word for this? I've seen people use "sniffed," but I just can't wrap my head around that. Sniffed, to me, is inhaling, not exhaling, and that's so ingrained into my brain that I just can't use it. Any suggestions? Would it be weird to just say, "blah exhaled sharply and raised his/her chin"?
     
  2. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    I'd probably used 'huffed', or maybe 'sighed sharply'. 'Scoffed' is an option too. I wouldn't find your example odd, though.
     
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  3. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I get these sometimes. It's one of those where you find yourself sitting there at your desk, doing it for real, and then asking, "What is that?" :D

    I can't think of any better than @izzybot's examples.
     
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  4. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Contributor

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    Thanks guys! Scoffed and huffed might work sometimes, and it's good to know "exhaled sharply" can work. Sometimes I think I just get too picky!
     
  5. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I have no idea what exhaled sharply means. How do you exhale sharply? It really doesn't make sense to me. Either does a silent snort. Isn't a snort a sound? Maybe some people will be able to guess or figure out what you mean, but I sure couldn't. I would not use them.
     
  6. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    I've seen "chuffed" used for that action.
     
  7. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Contributor

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    Exhaling sharply is like when you're exhaling quickly and with force through your nose trying to get rid of a bad scent. That's the best way I can think of describing it. The problem with always using something like scoffed and huffed is those imply a specific attitude (and in the case of a huff, I usually picture the exhale being through the mouth) that might not fit the character or scene. That's why I'm trying to find another word or words to describe the action, or words that are similar enough they'll work, thereby reducing the need for the "sharp exhale." I was never planning to use "silent snort." That was just to try and help you guys understand the action I'm trying to describe. I agree it'd be odd if I used it!

    Interesting. I'd never heard the word "chuffed" before now. According to the dictionary I used, chuff doesn't work for what I want, but the thesaurus seems to disagree. I think "chuff" is quite confused. :-D
     
  8. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Huff or exasperated sigh.
     

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