English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there a term for a snort that is almost a laugh (as would occur when looking at a meme in a public space or any situation where something is humorous but it is not acceptable to outright laugh)?

share|improve this question
chortle is not quite specific enough... – astex Jan 31 '13 at 23:50
Just a few seconds ago I used "snort" (I might have used "snicker") just that way in a comment before reading your question. – user21497 Jan 31 '13 at 23:56
You could start with the sn-words. – John Lawler Feb 1 '13 at 0:15
What's wrong with "snort"? – Django Reinhardt Feb 1 '13 at 4:21
Seriously? The PC crowd objects to snigger? That's ridiculous. – terdon Feb 1 '13 at 10:25
up vote 2 down vote accepted

whicker |ˈ(h)wɪkər|

verb [ intrans. ]

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.


1 a snigger; a soft, breathy whinny.

2 the sound of something beating the air.

share|improve this answer

It's slang, but there is the word snortle. It's defined as:

A hearty laugh that is punctuated by a snort on the inhale.

Or the Wordnik entry has it defined as:

To snort; grunt.

share|improve this answer
snerkles What a silly word. – Kit Z. Fox Feb 1 '13 at 2:45

snaughling - Laughing so hard you snort, then laugh because you snorted, then snort because you laughed!

Urban Dictionary

share|improve this answer
Could you please provide some support for this answer? Perhaps a link to a published definition? – Drew May 28 at 20:00

protected by Rathony May 29 at 4:19

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.