Person 1: You're an idiot.

Person 2: Pfft

  • The same usage in BrE. – Weather Vane Dec 21 '19 at 20:51
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    Please tell us where you are quoting this dialogue from. If you made it up yourself, how do you know the word "pftt"? – James K Dec 21 '19 at 22:11
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    @user105719 Please put your answer in an answer and not in a comment. – James K Dec 21 '19 at 22:12

I would have said that it isn't a word, but a non-lexical sound - a vocal sound that people make and the meaning is recognisable.

Having said that, I was surprised to find it is in the dictionary!

"used to express a contemptuous or dismissive attitude".

Other examples:

  • Hmmm
  • Ha!
  • Mmmmm
  • Aah
  • Uh-huh
  • Aaaw
| improve this answer | |
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    ...and perhaps Tsch! – Weather Vane Dec 21 '19 at 20:50
  • @WeatherVane As in "Tsch! I forgot one!" Yeah, I could have gone on all day, I think it makes the point ;) – Astralbee Dec 21 '19 at 20:51
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    It's worth noting that the other non-lexical sounds you posted mean different things. It's also probably arguable whether or not some of them are words in their own right. – nick012000 Dec 21 '19 at 22:30
  • What British people call 'tutting' used to be rendered in The Dandy (a kid's comic) in speech balloons as 'Tsk Tsk', and, as a kid, I really thought that some people said that. – Michael Harvey Dec 22 '19 at 0:40
  • In French, when people go 'pfffffft', it means 'you are an idiot'. – Michael Harvey Dec 22 '19 at 7:53

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