Green’s Dictionary of Slang

raspberry n.

also raspo, razzberry
[rhy. sl.; raspberry tart = fart n. (1), the noise of which this resembles]

1. a coarse, dismissive, jeering noise.

[UK]Sporting Times n.p.: The tongue is inserted in the left cheek and forced through the lips, producing a peculiarly squashy noise that is extremely irritating. It is termed, I believe, a raspberry, and [...] is regarded rather as an expression of contempt than of admiration [F&H].
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 1 Aug. 9/1: Mr. Thornton’s performance [...] is quite inimitable. You can believe this. Though, having a heart about the size of a bank-clerk’s lunch, we have acquired somewhat a reputation for ‘laying on the raspberry.’.
[UK]A. Binstead Gal’s Gossip 144: A loud and offensive noise, like the rending of glazed calico, made by obtruding the wet tongue between the closed lips, and by low cabmen and persons of that class, called a ‘raspberry’.
[Aus]W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 27 Oct. 1/1: A telephonic tête-à-tête was last week interrupted by the rightful recipient of the ‘raspberry’.
[UK]Sporting Times 4 Jan. 4/3: ‘What is a “mixed reception,” dad?’ [...] ‘It’s something like that ice you’re wolfing. [...] Half cream, and half “raspberry”!’.
[UK]T. Burke Nights in Town 307: The humorist answered them by a gesture known in polite circles as a ‘raspberry’.
[US]Eve. World (NY) 2 May 20/2: When the Hohenzollerns Stepped Out to Slip the World the Old Razzberry They Forgot That There Is Many a Skid Between the Chinaware and the Chin.
[US]Eve. World (NY) 24 May 21/8: Three cheers for Peoria. Nine razzberries and a blind tiger.
[US]N.Y. Times 4 July 15: There is many a ‘razzberry’ patch along the trail which a hero must tread and Kelly is not making home runs with the frequency that marked his Spring playing. Steel eh? You said a mouthful.
[US]E. O’Neill Hairy Ape Act VI: Give him the boid, fellers – the raspberry.
[US]H.C. Witwer Yes Man’s Land 159: The disgusted crowd’s giving the bout the razzberry.
[UK]K. Mackenzie Living Rough 39: It would only give the razz-berry specialists a chance to sound off.
[UK]F.D. Sharpe Sharpe of the Flying Squad 185: As I passed by them [...] they all blew raspberries.
[NZ]F. Sargeson ‘A Pair of Socks’ in A Man And His Wife (1944) 65: She’d just give him a raspberry.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 19 Mar. [synd. col.] When she finally married him, she really got the razzberries.
[UK]R. Llewellyn None But the Lonely Heart 283: Taz give him a big raspo through the busted window.
[Aus]Cusack & James Come in Spinner (1960) 288: ‘Parra!’ Betty gave a loud raspberry.
[US]S. Bellow Augie March (1996) 174: Obscene lip sounds and razzberries.
[US]K. Vonnegut ‘Find Me a Dream’ in Bagombo Snuff Box (1999) 235: The demoralized, ramshackle little band [...] ended a number with razzberries and squeals.
[US]C. Bukowski Erections, Ejaculations etc. 441: Champions get the razzberry; the crowd aches to see them get knocked off.
[Aus]Lette & Carey Puberty Blues 114: Letting out a loud raspberry, she stabbed the air savagely with an ‘up-yours’ gesture.
[US]S. King Christine 454: I [...] plopped down beside her. The cushions sighed. It wasn’t a raspberry, but it was close.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 192: A rather loud raspberry came vibrating through the crack [of the door].
[US]Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore I 419: ‘Take this my friend!’ is accompanied by the insulting sound of a ‘mouth-fart’ or ‘Bronx cheer’ or razz(berry).
[US](con. 1975–6) E. Little Steel Toes 61: Red [...] blows a raspberry at me before continuing his babble as we pass Smith.
[UK]R. Milward Man-Eating Typewriter 34: If I had any intellect at all I expressed it only in [...] burped raspberries.

2. with ref. to the colour.

(a) the nose [? one that is reddened from drink].

[UK]E. Pugh Cockney At Home 139: An’ somebody lunges out from I-couldn’t-tell-where an’ dots me one on the raspberry.

(b) (drugs) an abscessed injection site.

[US]Maurer & Vogel Narcotics and Narcotic Addiction (3rd edn).
[US]Hardy & Cull Drug Lang. and Lore.

(c) (US campus) a bloody wound.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar.

3. a rejection, dismissal.

[US] ‘Argot of Vaudeville’ in N.Y. Times 23 Dec. 38: It was an English dancer of this type who first spoke to me of ‘getting the bird’ and ‘the raspberry,’ both phrases meaning forcibly expressed dislike on the part of the audience.
[UK]Wodehouse Damsel in Distress (1961) 56: Convict son totters up the steps of the old home and punches the bell. What awaits him beyond? Forgiveness? Or the raspberry?
[US]H.C. Witwer Classics in Sl. 74: As usual the customer tries his hand at makin’ a date with Ethel and as usual he gets the raspberry.
[US]W. Winchell Your Broadway & Mine 4 Apr. [synd. col.] Herb Williams [...] went through same form of razzberry [i.e. audience heckling] when he recently played in Germany.
[UK]P. Cheyney Don’t Get Me Wrong (1956) 50: She had enough dough to scram inta U.S. territory an’ send a right royal raspberry to her husband by registered post.
[UK]C. Day Lewis Otterbury Incident 54: Of course they got a raspberry sometimes.

4. (US) a failure, a disappointment.

[US]Eve. World (NY) 21 Oct. 10/7: They [...] introduced the bunch to a complete set of artillery horses. I sure drew a razzberry. I got a nag with an awful nervous backbone.

5. (drugs) a woman or man who trades sex for crack cocaine or money to buy the drug [? var. on strawberry n. (5) or pun on abbr. raspberry tart, i.e. tart n. (2)]. 🌐 Raspberry, female who trades sex for crack or money to buy crack.
‘Crack-House Lingo’ on 🌐 Raspberry – A male who exchanges sex for crack in a crack house.

In phrases

blow a raspberry (v.)

to make an obscene noise with one’s lips, usu. intended to imply derision; also in fig. use.

[Scot]Eve. Teleg. 11 Oct. 5/4: Instead of letting him ‘blow a raspberry’ the producer has noted the acid remarks of one or two critics.
[UK]R. Westerby Wide Boys Never Work (1938) 49: Jim just blew a razzberry at him.
[UK]P. Cheyney Don’t Get Me Wrong (1956) 91: He reckons he’ll be holdin’ five aces cold an’ he can blow raspberries at one an’ all.
[US]R. Chandler Long Good-Bye 287: As a guy who was told where to get off and blew a raspberry in their faces publicly in a newspaper, that’s different. That hurts their pride.
[UK]E. Bond Saved Scene iii: Barry blows a raspberry.
[UK]T. Lewis Plender [ebook] Knott blew a raspberry.
[UK]J. McClure Spike Island (1981) 220: The mob turns to boo and blow raspberries as Inspector South gets out.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 12: The dispatcher blew a raspberry.
[UK]Indep. 15 Feb. 11: Amelia beamed and blew raspberries.
get on someone’s raspberry (v.)

to irritate.

[UK]D. Abse In the Cage (1967) 89: Knock it off now. You getting on my raspberry. What’s the matter with you?
give someone the raspberry (v.) (also give someone the razzberry, hand someone the razzberry, slip...)

to deride or dismiss, to escape from.

[US]A. Baer Putting ’Em Over 19 June [synd. col.] Matty slipped the Giants the old razzberry.
[US]Eve. World (NY) 2 May 20/2: When the Hohenzollerns stepped out to slip the world the old rasberry, they forgot that [etc].
[US]Eve. World (NY) 7 May 28/3: [cartoon caption] Once again Ed hands Joe the Old Razzberry!
[US]Bisbee Dly Rev. (AZ) 9 Nov. 4/4: Jimmy Smith gave Eddie Collins an earful of razzberry.
[US]Siren (U. Illinois) 8 16: It has been the custom in other years to hand Urbana the gilded razzberry. [...] ‘The only cemetery in America with electric lights,’ with variations.
[US]H.C. Witwer Fighting Blood 75: No matter if all the rest of the crowd gives me the razzberry.
[UK]Wodehouse Inimitable Jeeves 76: He was given the respectful raspberry by Jeeves.
[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 405: Flight. Escape – ditch out, blow, bolt, give police the raspberry.
[UK]Wodehouse Carry on, Jeeves 198: If I had had the foggiest notion of what I was letting myself in for, not even a nephew’s devotion would have kept me from giving her the raspberry.
[US]W. Edge Main Stem 116: He left her? Like hell he left her! Bet she gave him the razzberry.
[UK]E. Glyn Flirt & Flapper 28: Flapper: I gave him the razzberry [...] You give the razzberry when you won’t stand for being high-hatted.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 478: Red gave Muggsy the razzberry.
[US]A. Kober Parm Me 44: I ast Irvie for an A and he gizz me the razzberry.
[NZ]N. Marsh Died in the Wool (1963) 133: I handed myself the raspberry in six different positions.I did indeed.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 40: It’s a silly idea giving the dream man the raspberry just because of some trifling tiff.
[US]E. De Roo Go, Man, Go! 152: They planned to stay well behind to give Paul plenty of room to maneuver the job, then give Pa the old raspberry on the horns when it was completed.
[Ire](con. 1930s) L. Redmond Emerald Square 142: I felt like giving her the raspberry.
[Aus]S. Maloney Big Ask 213: I [...] start speaking my piece [...] Farrell starts giving me the raspberry. Nothing to write home about.
[US]E. Weiner Big Boat to Bye-Bye 19: An hour ago I was giving my associate the raspberry .

In exclamations


(US) excl. of dismissal, rejection.

[US]B. Hecht A Thousand and One Afternoons [ebook] ‘Soon as I see they're [i.e. a man] heading for a dumb time I say “razzberry.” And off your little sugar toddles’.