Blowing a raspberry
Blowing a raspberry, strawberry, or making a Bronx cheer, is to make a noise similar to flatulence that may signify derision, real or feigned. It may also be used in childhood phonemic play, either solely by the child, or by adults towards a child to encourage imitation to the delight of both parties. 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. In the terminology of phonetics, the former sound has been described as a voiceless linguolabial trill, [r̼̊], and as a buccal interdental trill, [ↀ͡r̪͆].
A raspberry (when used with the tongue) is never used in human language phonemically (that is, as a building block of words). However, the bilabial trill (essentially blowing a raspberry with one's lips) is a phoneme in some languages. Blowing a raspberry is widely used across human cultures.
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!"
The nomenclature varies by country. In most anglophone countries, it is known as a raspberry, which is attested from at least 1890, and which in the United States came to be abbreviated as razz by 1919. In the United States it has also been called a Bronx cheer since at least the early 1920s.
Blowing a "raspberry" derives from the Cockney rhyming slang "raspberry tart" for "fart". Rhyming slang was particularly used in British comedy to refer to things that would be unacceptable to a polite audience. "Raspberry" was also given the pronunciation spelling "razzberry" in the US, of which "razz" is an abbreviation.
- 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.
- 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.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- 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.
- Gilliland, John (April 14, 1972). "Pop Chronicles 1940s Program #5". UNT Digital Library.
- "raspberry". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- "razz". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- 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.
- 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....
- "Raspberry tart". Phrases.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- 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.