writing spitting sound

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Lyuba, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Lyuba

    Lyuba New Member

    New York City
    Russsia and U.S.A
    Hi all,

    How would you spell the sound that is made when a person spits in disgust? I am translating a text from Russian in to English in which the main character voices her opinion on prostitution:

    "...it is repulsive and repugnant, (insert spitting sound here)!"

    In Russian, its transliteration is: "t'fu," but I can't recall ever reading this sound in English.

  2. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

  3. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    "Ptooie" is more cartoonish, not suitable for a serious narration.

    (And, of course, a resounding "tling" when the spittoon is hit.)
  4. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
    Thanks Bibliolept! I have seen ptooie in old cartoons long ago and didn't understand what it meant! I don't think we use ptui or ptooie on this side of the Atlantic.

    You could try pah! but it is probably too decorous. The only alternatives I can think of represent vomiting rather than spitting - ugh! or yeuch! or yuck! and I think tend to express physical revulsion rather than moral indignation!
  5. Lyuba

    Lyuba New Member

    New York City
    Russsia and U.S.A
    Thank you all for the suggestions--very helpful! :)

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