One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Used to represent a sound such as that made by the passage of a bullet or that of a small, muffled explosion.‘Phut! Up went the Roman candles, like distress flares’
- ‘With a phut from the silenced rifle, the 5.56 mm nano-shell entered through the Crab's eye.’
- ‘Mind you, there is also the occasional phut, phut, phut to be heard.’
- 1.1 Used to convey the suddenness of a malfunction, disappearance, etc.‘we've all been there—you've just spent the last five hours carefully crafting a document and then, phut!’
informal Fail to work properly or at all.‘when the boom went phut, traders were left with sky-high rents and no customers’
fail, meet with failure, meet with disaster, miscarry, go wrong, go awry, fall through, fall flat, be frustrated, break down, collapse, founder, fold, come to nothing, come to naughtView synonyms
- ‘But the album never got to the stores last spring because 13 Amp went phut.’
- ‘Not that they aren't used to the travails of erratic power supply and the lines going phut whenever it starts raining.’
- ‘Each day I would hit the record button, capturing what was fast turning into a comic drama - like when the radios went phut before California, forcing us to land at a small town called Blythe.’
- ‘The engineer relayed this to his colleague as ‘It went phut!’’
Late 19th century: imitative.
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