Someone told me (half) jokingly that I should be able to eat my yogurt (plain Greek yogurt) quickly since I don't have to chew it. We then started wondering if chewing is the correct verb for when yogurt is in your mouth. I'm talking specifically about when the yogurt is in your mouth before you swallow it, when you break it up with your tongue but not necessarily with your teeth (or at least I think that's what I do!). What is this called?

Just a fun question, couldn't find anything online about the proper term (if there is one), and I have seen people on here find interesting terms for things like this!

Update1: Edited the question to be more specific about what I was really asking (sorry!).

  • 2
    For anything you swallow, if you use a utensil, you are eating it. If you simply drain the contents of a container into your mouth, you are drinking it. That's enough. Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 0:55
  • Fair enough. Was merely curious if there was an equivalent word for chewing with yogurt (or similar foods). We just eat it I guess. Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 1:04
  • If it contains pieces of something, fruit for example, you can chew those.
    – user97452
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 1:18
  • 1
    Sometimes having a specific word for an activity is pointless. Granted, English probably has a few such pointless words, but there's no real reason to expect one in this case.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 1:18
  • 2
    One verb for ingesting liquids, including viscous and partly solid ones like yogurt, is slurp.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 1:45

5 Answers 5


Technically you can chew yogurt and it is recommended but it is not a usual verb to use with yogurt and it would sound strange to use in everyday speech. Obviously the most common verb is eat.

Foods that are already mostly liquid, such as jello or yogurt, should be chewed the same as solid foods to allow the saliva to break them down before entering the stomach.

[How to chew food properly/Wikihow]

Chewing food without teeth is called gumming.

Chew with toothless gums: some grandmother gumming a meal [OD]

Also, chewing is used sometimes when toothless babies eat food with a chewing-like motion.

  • 1
    I'll go with that. Saliva might be produced in the mouth, but I think it has a lot of work to do further down the digestive tract. I imagine moving the lower jaw and tongue are both helpful to the process even when the actual teeth take no real part. Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 1:30
  • Do you 'chew' your soup as well?
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 9:09
  • @WS2: No. Do you?
    – ermanen
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 9:11
  • @ermanen I apologise. It was not you but your quoted source that was recommending the chewing of yoghurt. I wonder if they chew their soup?
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 9:23
  • @WS2: Soup is more liquidy so it doesn't apply. I think it depends on the viscosity of the food. But chewing also has several mechanisms that can include pressing the food with your tongue against the palate.
    – ermanen
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 9:25

I have never had yoghurt which is of a sufficiently tough-enough consistency to require chewing.

According to my dictionary the verb chew does involve use of the teeth, and biting and/or gnawing.

  • I thought the "h" in "yogurt" was a typo, but then I checked it before making any comment.
    – Centaurus
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 0:32
  • I'll go with that. You may use your tongue to mix it with saliva and play with it, but it certainly isn't chewing. Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 3:50
  • Now that the question has been updated this is only half an answer. Need to provide an alternate verb.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 5:48

One verb for ingesting liquids, including viscous and partly solid ones like yogurt, is slurp.


The verb for ingesting yoghurt in your mouth is simply eating.


You could go with gobbled [down] or ate yogurt.

eat hastily without proper chewing

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