Bronx cheer

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Believed to originate from the making of the sound during sporting and other events in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, New York, USA.[1]



Bronx cheer (plural Bronx cheers)

  1. (US, idiomatic) Synonym of raspberry (a sound intended to resemble flatulence made by blowing air out of the mouth while the tongue is protruding from and pressed against the lips, used humorously or to express disdain or scorn) [from 1920s]
    Synonyms: razz, razzberry
    • 1921 October 19, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., page 16, columns 4–5:
      Princeton's defeat by Annapolis is regretted here as the Staggs say if they win in the East it won't be held as such-a-much, whereas if Chicago loses the East will grin and give Western football the jolly old Bronx cheer.
    • 1937 April, Donald Hough, “Keep the Home Pies Burning: There’s Nothing so Soggy, so Flavorless or Indigestible as Home-cooked Dinner on the Farm”, in Arnold Gingrich, editor, Esquire: The Magazine for Men, volume VII, number 4 (number 41 overall), Chicago, Ill.: Esquire, Inc., →ISSN, →OCLC, page 164, column 3:
      There is no reason, no sound reason—forgetting once more the beer-weeping—why our restaurants should not step out and claim the world's championship, give the homemade product the Bronx cheer, and have done with all this nonsense.
    • 1973, Bernard Malamud, “The Letter”, in Rembrandt’s Hat, New York, N.Y.: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, published 1986, →ISBN, page 105:
      "Why doesn't he write a few words to you? Or you could write a few words to him." / "A Bronx cheer on you." / "It's my letter," Teddy said. / "I don't care who writes it," said Newman. "I could write a message for you wishing him luck. I could say you hope he gets out of here soon." / "A Bronx cheer to that."
    • 1989, Greil Marcus, “The Art of Yesterday's Crash”, in Lipstick Traces, Faber & Faber, published 2009:
      In London or New York in the late 1970s dada meant what it meant in Paris and New York at the end of the First World War: a not-quite-naked prank, a jape clothed in the barest g-string of aesthetic authority, a Bronx cheer in three-part harmony, Tzara's affirmation of the right “to piss and shit in different colors.”
    • 1990, J. Peter Burkholder, “‘Quotation’ and Paraphrase in Ives’s Second Symphony”, in Joseph Kerman, editor, Music at the Turn of Century: A 19th-century Music Reader (California Studies in 19th-century Music; 7), Berkeley, Los Angeles, Calif.: University of California Press, →ISBN, footnote 34, page 53:
      The original ending [of Charles Ives's Symphony No. 2] is preferable; the final dissonance in the published version is a Bronx cheer completely out of the spirit of the rest of the work.
    • 2004, Steven Englund, “Power (III): Naming It (From Citizen Consul to Emperor of the French)”, in Napoleon: A Political Life, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, →ISBN, book III (Contre nous, de la tyrannie), page 247:
      He [Louis XIV of France] lost major battles and wars, signed ruinous treaties, handed over territories to his enemies, and so completely undermined his personal reputation that in 1715 his corpse was greeted with Bronx cheers as it went to its resting place.
    • 2014, Doug Kass, “Buffett Watch”, in Doug Kass on the Market: A Life on the Street, Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 409:
      As I walked up to the stage, numerous members of the audience recognized me and mostly yelled out, "Good luck," though there were some Bronx cheers. I felt like a heavyweight fighter approaching the ring to the cheers and boos of the crowd.



  1. ^ Paul Dickson (2009), “Bronx cheer”, in Skip McAfee, editor, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, New York, N.Y.: W. W. Norton & Company, →ISBN, page 138.

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