Blowing a raspberry

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A man blowing a raspberry

Blowing a raspberry, strawberry, razzing or making a Bronx cheer, is to make a noise similar to flatulence that may signify derision, real or feigned. It is made by placing the tongue between the lips, or alternately placing the lips against any area of skin, and blowing. When performed against the skin of another person, it is often a form of tickling.

A raspberry (when used with the tongue) is not used in any human language as a building block of words, apart from jocular exceptions such as the name of the comic-book character Joe Btfsplk. However, the vaguely similar bilabial trill (essentially blowing a raspberry with one's lips) is a regular consonant sound in a few dozen languages scattered around the world.

Spike Jones and His City Slickers used a "birdaphone" to create this sound on their recording of "Der Fuehrer's Face", repeatedly lambasting Adolf Hitler with: "We'll Heil! (Bronx cheer) Heil! (Bronx cheer) Right in Der Fuehrer's Face!"[1][2]

In the terminology of phonetics, the raspberry has been described as a voiceless linguolabial trill, transcribed [r̼̊] in the International Phonetic Alphabet,[3] and as a buccal interdental trill, transcribed [ↀ͡r̪͆] in the Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet.[4]


The nomenclature varies by country. In most anglophone countries, it is known as a raspberry, which is attested from at least 1890,[5] and which in the United States had been shortened to razz by 1919.[6] In the United States it has also been called a Bronx cheer since at least the early 1920s.[7][8]

The term "raspberry" derives from the Cockney rhyming slang "raspberry tart" for "fart" (that is, "blowing a fart").[9][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hinkley, David (March 3, 2004). "Scorn and disdain: Spike Jones giffs Hitler der old birdaphone, 1942". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on April 8, 2009.
  2. ^ Gilliland, John (April 14, 1972). "Pop Chronicles 1940s Program #5". UNT Digital Library.
  3. ^ Pike called it a "voiceless exolabio-lingual trill", with the tongue vibrating against a protruding lower lip. Pike, Kenneth L. (1943). Phonetics: A Critical Analysis of Phonetic Theory and a Technique for the Practical Description of Sounds. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  4. ^ Ball, Martin J.; Howard, Sara J.; Miller, Kirk (2018). "Revisions to the extIPA chart". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 48 (2): 155–164. doi:10.1017/S0025100317000147. S2CID 151863976.
  5. ^ "raspberry". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  6. ^ "razz". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  7. ^ Runyon, Damon (19 Oct 1921). "All Chicago backs up its footballers". San Francisco Examiner. Universal Syndicate. p. 19. Retrieved 18 Jun 2019. ....the East will grin and give Western football the jolly old Bronx cheer.
  8. ^ Farrell, Henry L. (30 Nov 1922). "Wills looks like boob in Johnson bout". San Antonio Evening News. United Press. p. 8. Retrieved 18 Jun 2019. While the crowd was giving vent to the 'Bronx cheer' and hurling garlands of raspberries from the gallery....
  9. ^ "Raspberry tart". Retrieved 2010-07-28.
  10. ^ Bryson, Bill (1990). The Mother Tongue: English & How It Got That Way (Trade printing, September 1991 ed.). Avon Books. p. 238. ISBN 0-380-71543-0.