Are there any English onomatopoeias for disgust / loathe? What exclamations are commonly used to express repulsion?

Something that could be used like:

(___) dog shit. I loathe it! (some sound here)

… to increase the expressiveness of the sentence?

  • 10
    Is ugh onomatopoeic? NOAD defines it as "used to express disgust" with the example: Ugh! What's this disgusting object?
    – J.R.
    Feb 22, 2017 at 1:47
  • Grungy, slimy. Also, "I loathe them. Yecch!" or "I loathe them. P.U.!" Feb 22, 2017 at 5:47
  • 1
    @Tonepoet The accepted answer includes a number of onomatopoeias, including yuck, which is probably imitative of the sound one makes when vomiting, and blech, which is the sound one makes when trying to get something bad-tasting out of one's mouth.
    – 1006a
    Feb 22, 2017 at 20:59
  • @Tonepoet 'yuck' is onomatopoeic. totally appropriate as an answer
    – Mitch
    Feb 22, 2017 at 22:46
  • @Mari-Lou sure.
    – Mitch
    Feb 26, 2017 at 23:12

5 Answers 5


The conventional exclamation for disgust is yuck (alternatively, yech); the Macmillan entry says it is

used for saying that you think someone or something is dirty, ugly, or unpleasant

Oh, yuck! It’s slimy!

The earliest OED entry is from 1966, noting an earlier verb sense of yuck meaning to vomit, but it may have existed earlier in dialectic English.

Chris Sunami's suggestion of ew is also a good one.

Somewhat milder is ick, a reaction to something icky. Somewhat stronger is blecch (blech, bleech, etc.), which has not made it into any of the major dictionaries, but is easily found online, and even featured in the title of an episode of The Simpsons. Stronger still is bleah, also imitative of retching or gagging, though OLD labels this as North American.

Other onomatopoeia for vomit or vomiting, like barf or yack or hork may be suitable, but the degree to which these terms is understood will vary greatly by region and generation, and some slang like woof or hurl may thus be ambiguous.

A broader term for something generally unpleasant is ugh, as noted elsewhere, but this is more a term for dislike or disappointment.

  • 1
    "Eurgh!" is a more obviously disgust alternative to "Ugh".
    – Muzer
    Feb 22, 2017 at 9:43
  • @Muzer How's that more obvious?
    – mbomb007
    Feb 22, 2017 at 17:53
  • @mbomb007 I meant that, compared to "ugh" which as noted is rather ambiguous, "eurgh" is much more associated with disgust.
    – Muzer
    Feb 22, 2017 at 17:58
  • 1
    I've never even heard "eurgh" before
    – mbomb007
    Feb 22, 2017 at 19:05
  • +1, especially for blech (which is apparently in the M-W unabridged). I think this answer could be made even more explicitly in-line with the OP's request for "onomotopoeias" with an etymological note that yuck is probably imitative (of vomiting or, with a different meaning, of laughter). Your link is suggestive of this (there's a box with other "written representations of sounds: achoo, ahem, atishoo" linked), and etymonline has a more direct statement. (It's also the OED's best guess, but I can't link to that subscription service.)
    – 1006a
    Feb 22, 2017 at 20:57

The sound is "ew" --your face naturally contorts into an expression of disgust when you say it. Or alternately, it's the sound you naturally make when your face is in an expression of disgust (contrast with "ooh").

ew: (with as many extra ‘e’s and/or ‘w’s as needed for emphasis)
Expression of disgust or nausea.
Ew! There’s a fly in my soup.
Eww! This peanut butter tastes disgusting!

See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMBXhDcogcI


I find "gag" to be both descriptive and onomatopoeic. (Merriam-Webster's intransitive sense, though their definition is actually poor, as a true gag is a neurological reflex.)

My teenager is also fond of using a sound like "bleah" (imitating a vomiting noise) to express disgust in an onomatopoeic fashion as in Oxford Living Dictionary Online.


I would imitate throwing up a little bit in my mouth!

(…) dog shit. I loathe them! Bleurgh

The example given is:

Used to express disgust.
‘bleurgh—just opened the fridge and it smells of gone-off chicken’
‘I can handle gore and everything but show me warts? Bleurgh!’

Its origin matches my assumptions:


1960s: probably imitative of the sound of gagging or retching.

  • 1
    I replaced them with it in the question.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 22, 2017 at 9:41
  • 1
    it agrees with "dog shit" that's my thinking :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 22, 2017 at 9:44

I think "retch" is a great example.

It's origins are ancient and it's not clear how the Old-English or Proto-German words sounded, but it's original meaning was "to clear the throat, to cough up phlegm" and even today's word evokes the sound of vomiting, not very different.


  • 1
    Can you support your suggestion with a definition and a link to the source? We prefer answers with supportive information and definition.
    – Hank
    Feb 22, 2017 at 20:45

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