Is there a simple verb to describe the act of accidentally (or not) throwing out of the mouth food bits, like it happens when someone is eating and talking at the same time?

For instance, if you were to complete the following phrase, what would you insert?

He _______ (on) my plate (whilst talking).

If there is no a single word verb, what is the most common way to say this in English?

  • 1
    I don't know of a verb, but I can think of an adjective - disgusting.
    – WS2
    Jun 12, 2018 at 19:23
  • @KannE Wait...what? There's a lot going on there. Also, you say in one incident? What about the others?
    – Mitch
    Jun 12, 2018 at 22:27

2 Answers 2



1 : to project spray or something resembling spray on or into · spray the table · spraying the wall with bullets

In your case:

He sprayed food onto my plate whilst talking.

  • Spray sounds more like a continuous action than a one-off event. E.g. if the person just threw food out once, spray seems a bit exaggerated.
    – luchonacho
    Jun 12, 2018 at 17:02
  • +1 for say it, don't spray it
    – wrymug
    Jun 12, 2018 at 17:13
  • expel/expelled might be the polite way to write this.
    – stevesliva
    Jun 14, 2018 at 3:19

He spat on my plate whilst talking.
I found the following quote on;-

stackexchange interpersonal

"This is a true story. I was dining out with a friend and an acquaintance (who was close friends with my friend). Back story: the acquaintance was jealous of how well her friend and I were getting along and seemed to feel threatened by our friendship. This woman (the acquaintance) was sitting opposite me and I was sitting next to our mutual friend. She has a habit of spitting sometimes when she talks. She spat and her saliva landed on my plate in my food. No one else noticed this. There was no way I was going to continue eating from that plate, but I wasn't even half way through my meal. How can I handle this? What options can I possibly have besides saying I feel full? Is there any way to bring up the fact she spits while she talks sometimes?"

  • I think you'll find "spat" implies not only intent, but usually malice. Without hours of study I couldn't give you details, yet to me "spit" and "spat" in that anecdote shows not that they’re used thus by natives, nor whether anyone understood the etiquette surrounding spittle landing on plates in any language but rather that as a foreigner, he had no idea how an English person might see the situation. Language and etiquette have separate and vital reasons for seeing “spit/spat” and “spittle” differently. “Throwing bits of food out of the mouth” should play no part in either. Jun 13, 2018 at 22:24
  • I don't think this is with intent or malice. " She has a habit of spitting sometimes when she talks." Jun 14, 2018 at 5:53

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