Is there a name (either a noun or verb) for the sound Peter Griffin does in this video?

It starts at 0:52, and he does it many times.

It is the rather common sound that one does through their teeth after experiencing pain.

I was thinking of "suck through teeth" but maybe there's a better term.

  • 1
    This site calls it "sucking through teeth".
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 16:30
  • Related perhaps: sheesh - which is listed in the OED as an interjection expressing exasperation, surprise, disapproval. Also a few others I can think of: "a sharp intake of breath", and "[breathing] through gritted teeth", "gritting one's teeth", or the word that often expresses pain: "ouch".
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 17:38
  • 1
    @BillyKerr good suggestion, but I think "sheesh" is an outward flow of air through the teeth, which sounds different than intaking the air, as Peter Griffin does in the video
    – Tyler M
    Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 18:53
  • Not the sound specifically, but I would describe him as wincing in pain.
    – nschneid
    Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 2:10

1 Answer 1


The Caribbean islands have a very common phrase for this, they call it "cheups", pronounced "chups", and can refer to the sound Peter Griffin makes in the video, or more of a hard, suck-then-stop-abruptly sound by pressing the tongue against the teeth, releasing, then halting airflow very quickly. Both sounds are called "cheups". In fact, the name is so well-known and the sound such a part of Caribbean cultures, they humorously and ironically say the word "cheups" (pronounced "chups") in place of actually making the sound.

Also, in France/West Africa, it goes by another name "Le tchip"

In the USA, I don't think a name has been given a wide-spread name other than "that sound you make when you suck air through your teeth", however, in my experience living in Florida (which has a large Caribbean population), the more preferred naming is "cheups".

If it is useful, based on this post, the IPA defines the sound as the:

"pulmonic ingressive voiceless alveolar fricative ... its symbol in the IPA would be [s↓].

  • Looking at the meaning you linked to, that would be what I would call a "tut", or "tutting". But I don't think that's the sound here.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 17:02
  • 1
    @BillyKerr I usually thing of a "tut" as the suction on the frontal teeth, whereas a "cheups" is suction on the side teeth and results in a more rounded sound. I'm not a linguist so I don't know the correct terminology, but that's the best I can describe the difference. I'm fairly certain that drawing out the sound is synonymous (among the Caribbean) with a quick burst as "cheups"
    – Tyler M
    Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 17:17
  • The OED has an entry for sheesh: an interjection, expressing exasperation, surprise, disapproval.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 17:23
  • 1
    The British press and news media have plenty of stories about Black people, often of Caribbean heritage, being arrested (by white police officers) for 'sucking their teeth', 'loudly and aggressively tutting', etc. The guy in the video is not doing that. Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 19:41
  • I don't think that this is right, either. I've watched both videos on the "le tchip" page, and both of them feature a sound that is quite different from the one that Peter Griffin makes. Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 2:17

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