Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sometimes, after people take a sip of hot coffee or tea and send it down their throat, they make this sound originating from the front of their mouth. Something like "Aaah" — exhaling a little steam. Usually to express delight in the deliciousness of the drink. Is there a word for this sound?

For example:

He took a slurp from his coffee and ____ in delight.

What could go in the blank?

share|improve this question
1  
I think the sound varies by culture. I've heard a "ssss" sound too, an inhalation of breath through the mouth past the tongue. –  ShreevatsaR Oct 12 '11 at 5:04
1  
I thought the sound was 'ow' because you just burnt your tongue. –  Mitch Oct 12 '11 at 15:49
    
Well, my description of the sound was less than good but what I meant was mostly a sigh of satisfaction. –  harithski Oct 12 '11 at 15:57

4 Answers 4

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Although it is usually used in a less positive manner, you could say that the person is letting out a sigh:

to let out one's breath audibly, as from sorrow, weariness, or relief.

share|improve this answer
4  
+1 I'd go for "sigh of satisfaction". –  onomatomaniak Oct 12 '11 at 8:26
    
'sigh of satisfaction' <-- very good :) –  harithski Oct 12 '11 at 16:00
    
"a contented sigh" ? –  Phil M Jones Sep 17 '14 at 13:22

The only word I know that would describe the sound is slurp. If you wanted to use that, you’d have to find another word to use instead of the slurp you’ve already got. Perhaps He took a sip from his coffee and slurped in delight.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for sipping! –  Arjang Oct 13 '11 at 8:13
1  
No. Slurping and sipping are mutually exclusive. And the questioner is asking about the aaahh exhalation, not the actual drinking. –  TRiG Oct 8 '12 at 17:43
    
Slurping is the sound of liquid entering your mouth. –  5arx Sep 17 '14 at 13:36

You mean the aaaah sound?

A modernist might write:

He took a slurp from his coffee and ahhed in delight.

share|improve this answer

Gargle. The sound in the throat after "ahhh" is gargling. Same as one makes when gargling mouthwash. After coffee one would dry gargle after expression of "ahhh". With mouthwash one would wet gargle.

share|improve this answer

protected by tchrist Oct 27 '14 at 1:46

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

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.