For example the word used for calling for silence in English is "shh", and "ahh" for surprise, is there any sound for anger?

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    The instinctive exclamation "Ah" can express many different emotions: satisfaction at having found something (Ah, there it is!), exasperation (Ah, I give up), sensual pleasure... Commented May 5, 2022 at 10:23

3 Answers 3


Probably the best sounds are "argh" or "grrr". "argh" can be used for frustration as well!

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    I'd append this by saying the phonetic spellings of this sound are sometimes a little bit disappointing, because a large component of the sound is gutteral (generated somewhere in the back of the throat in a manner somewhat similar to the letter "m" but with more variation). Commonly used onomatopoeiac spellings aside, maybe the sound would be most similar to 'mghhhh'?
    – DerekG
    Commented May 5, 2022 at 18:30
  • I immediately think of Adam Sandler in "The Waterboy" but I can't begin to fathom the spelling for that. Usually books just spell it out a bit more verbosely -- "howls in anger", "screams in rage", and kinda leaves it up to the reader's imagination to fill that in.
    – JamieB
    Commented May 5, 2022 at 19:35
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    Homer Simpson famously used “D’oh!” and Charlie Brown, “AAUGH!”
    – Davislor
    Commented May 5, 2022 at 21:44
  • FFFFFUUUUUUU is a common one and well-attested. It is not pronounced "eff you" but "fuh" in a rather protracted rage scream.
    – Yorik
    Commented May 6, 2022 at 17:29
  • "Gah!" is my personal go-to
    – cobbal
    Commented May 6, 2022 at 21:45

DialFrost has a good answer, but there are sounds that just don't have any specific pronounceable phonetic equivalent.

Growls (especially those originating from the back of the throat/sinus or from a closed mouth) are one of these examples, and transcends language. Anyone of any language should understand these sounds as anger. These are often written as "grrr", as DialFrost mentions, but that's more of a "universal representation" rather than an accurate description of the sound, as it's often not articulated as a "g" or "r" sound any more than a cat purring would.

Screams are often represented as "ahhh" or "aaaah", but that's only an approximation of the sound made. Again, it's more of a "universal representation" rather than an accurate description.

Along those lines, a person may shout a partial swear word when surprised or when injured, only to trail off as they realize how loud they were and not wanting to offend others by finishing the word.

This leads into the Yosemite Sam type of mutterings where the words aren't articulated in any meaningful way, so they are often represented in text by punctuation: #$%<^&>*! Of course, this was done within the cartoons as an alternate to swearing in front of kids, but this happens in the real world, too. While there may be individual syllables that might be discerned, such as partial (swear) words, there's no real meaning behind it. This type of muttering was likely modeled after actual usage by people trying not to swear in public, when swearing in public was considered a nearly unforgivable social offense.


I thought of "Hmph!" first, defined by Wiktionary as:

A sound, usually made with a closed mouth, indicating annoyance or indignation.

It wouldn't be used by someone expressing true rage, it does indicate that someone's unhappy with someone though. Playful anger more so than wants-to-fight anger.

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