The sound I'm thinking of isn't so much a snort, it's not expelled from the nose, however, a sound used to express humor or amusement that doesn't quite hit the laughter threshold. I notice I do it and was trying to use it in writing. Normally it's a "T" sound or sometimes an "heh" as I expell a forceful puff of air. Usually I notice my tongue is pushed against the back of my upper front teeth, not touching my palate but don't know if that differs for people and it's more the action of air expulsion than type of sound?

Hopefully this makes sense, I've had issues here with people being mean on this site with legitmate questions so I hope I covered bases ok. Looking for a name for this or anything else relevent to it for descriptive purposes. Or is there a more universally accepted way to spell out the sounds that are lumped with this? I appreciate any insight!

  • Interesting, are you trying to spell an egressive interdental?
    – livresque
    Dec 12, 2020 at 5:17
  • I think your response is the closest thing I've found to what would define this noise/reaction, thank you for that. My awareness of linguistics is quite general so this was interesting to dive into. While I think you've helped me narrow this down I just wonder if there's a more common description or colloquialism to use... Someone recommended "titter" but I don't feel that's quite right...
    – Jessica P
    Dec 13, 2020 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


I suggest the onomatopoeic titter. Lexico has

[Give] a short, half-suppressed laugh

While reading, I ranged from smiles to titters to outright belly laughs.

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