One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The rapid intermittent sound of a small petrol engine.‘she heard the putt-putt of a boat coming toward them’
- ‘She doesn't hear the putt-putt of the moped as it approaches.’
- ‘I didn't really have time to put-put along, so I slipped into my ‘road rage’ mood and listened to hard rock on some radio station.’
- ‘As the machine put-putted, the lights came on gradually.’
- ‘I know that put-put green screams ‘Beware of cyclists’ to me.’
- ‘It's 6.15 pm on an early Autumn evening and we are put-putting straight into the heart of the sun set.’
- ‘For such a big machine, it made an incredibly gentle noise, the calming putt-putt of an outboard engine on a small boat.’
- ‘Elsewhere, the delightful putt-putt sounds of fishing traffic off Vancouver Island sidle up alongside the Pärt and Ligeti and early Floyd influences.’
- ‘Five minutes pass and a Thai long-tail fishing boat put-puts into view.’
- ‘I waved as I put-putted past each packed bus stop.’
- ‘Mr Sportage seemed to run out of puff after that, and by comparison put-putted the last 15 minutes before home.’
Make a rapid intermittent sound.
- ‘It started to sputter and putt-putt and just as I reached my friends' garage door, it died.’
- ‘They were plunging feet-first toward a little motorboat putt-putting across the ocean.’
Early 20th century: imitative.
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