How do you use the interjection for snorting? I was told that "snort" is an onomatopoeia, but I disagree. "Haha" and "Heh heh" would be onomatopoeia, because they are pronounced the way they are written. The act of snorting sounds like you are exhaling hair like "Pshht", but "snort" is not an onomatopoeia. That being said, is there a true onomatopoeia, and how would you use it in a dialogue?


"Haha, you're quick on the uptake I take it."

"Snort, you're quick on the uptake I take it."

What would you replace "snort" with?

  • 1
    "Snort" is kind of an onomatopoeia, but not in this scenario. I think of "snort" as that gross sound you make when you've got a runny nose. Some people do snort a bit when they laugh (and they're often embarrassed by it), but I wouldn't use "snort" as a stand-in for laughter, at least not inside the quotes. Sep 20, 2019 at 20:00
  • 4
    I think people overuse the word "snort" when describing laughter because they don't know the word "chuff", which is, IMO, much more appropriate for non-vocalized laugh sounds.
    – wordsworth
    Sep 20, 2019 at 21:56
  • 1
    I'm adding this as a comment because I've never seen this in written conversation, only in comics. But in comics, sometimes sounds like that are written like so: "*snort*. You're quick on the uptake I take it." I've also seen this for other interjection noises that are not onomatopoeic like *chortle* , and so on.
    – syntonicC
    Sep 21, 2019 at 14:46
  • Commenting because this isn't long enough for an answer: Personally I use "snrk" as onomatopoeia for snorting. Sep 22, 2019 at 14:28

4 Answers 4


It would look more natural outside of dialog, to me. Unless the character says "snort."

"He's really attractive."

Megan snorted. She grabbed a napkin and wiped the coffee off the table. "Uh, no."

  • 1
    This made me giggle. I'd say this makes the scene come to life, sort of "show, don't tell"-ish. Edit while re-reading as I'm writing the comment; I thought Megan said 'oh no', as a reaction to the mess she made. I preferred that, but your answer still holds up, of course :D
    – storbror
    Sep 22, 2019 at 9:55

I agree with the previous poster who said that if you want to use the word “snort,” it would probably make more sense as a verb than as part of the dialogue. That said, I think “pfft” might fit the bill.

Max asked Jill whether she’d finished the homework.

“Pfft. Are you kidding? It’s not due for another week!” She said.

Obviously, this works best for the mono-syllabic snicker sort of snort (of amusement or derision) rather than the noise a pig or pug makes.

  • 12
    Two Fs : pfft. It's in the dictionary. - pfft may appear in dialogue; snort may not, unless you're actually using the word. +1
    – Mazura
    Sep 21, 2019 at 1:23
  • 1
    'phut' would also work, I think. A bit more archaic than pfft, perhaps. Sep 22, 2019 at 0:14

Closest I can think of, though perhaps a little archaic:

"Harumph, you're quick on the uptake I take it."

But, like DPT, I would be more inclined to keep it out of dialogue tags.

  • 1
    {snorts} Hey, I didn't get a harrumph outta that guy. {everybody pffts}
    – Mazura
    Sep 21, 2019 at 19:40

I'd just use "Snort! blah blah blah etc". I've seen it used plenty of times. As a single word, before an exclamation mark, it's meaning is unambiguous. AFAIK there isn't a well-known onomatopoeic word for snorting.

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