Today I texted my friend to talk about something. I was drinking water when I got his reply which was so surprisingly funny and I burst into laughter and spit out the water in my mouth.

I am wondering if there is an idiomatic phrase or expression to describe "burst into laughter and spit out water"? I believe my 7-word description should be clear and people will understand, but I feel it's much less powerful because it takes time to finish reading all these words.

I want to say to my friend "OMG! I wasn't prepared for this kind of reply and literally spit out water". But shocking can also cause people to spit out water. So I want to mention "laugh" somewhere in the sentence to make sure my friend will know his reply is funny but not shocking.

I'm aware of "rolling on the floor laughing" ("ROFL") but I wasn't rolling on the floor when I was laughing. Besides, "ROFL" also misses the information that I spit out water.

I was thinking about "spitting out water laughing" ("SOWL"), but, compared to "ROFL", "SOWL" doesn't sound right because "rolling on the floor" and "laughing" can happen at the same time for some time so these two actions can go hand in hand. In contrast, "spitting out water" happens and stops almost instantly and then one keeps laughing: one is done before the other starts.

Anyone helps?

  • 1
    The past tense of spit is spat. Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 9:20

2 Answers 2


Colloquially, people sometimes call it a spit take.


I can mention some expressions for such a situation as the above one

  1. She spat out her drink laughing
  2. She burst into laughing and spat out her drink.
  3. The funny news had me doing a spit-take on my morning coffee.
  4. The funny news caused a spit-take on my morning tea.

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