Hi Emotion: smile So this issue has actually bothered me for a long time. It came up again while writing a story so I decided to get to the bottom of this.

I'm looking for a verb or something of a sort. What do you call _the expression one makes when he smiles and passes air trough his nose (this is usually done quickly and out of amusement)_? I think everyone knows what I'm talking about, at least I know I do this dozens of times a day, usually while browsing Twitter or something like that.

There is a verb for this in my native language but when I try to translate it to English, all the dictionaries give me the verb 'sneer', which doesn't seem right to me since I've understood sneering isn't good-willed and made out of contempt rather than amusement. The other, not so common suggestion I got was 'smile shortly'. Is that right? How would you describe it?

Thank you so much for your help in advance, this has troubled me for a while and it's a verb I would use and need a lot so I really appreciate whatever help I can get. Emotion: smile
Consider snort.

Hmm, that might work… Thanks Emotion: smile

Still, any other opinions?
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something along the lines of "pushing (?) breath through the nose in a short, silent laugh"
"laugh in a short burst of breath through the nose"
"laugh silently through the nose"
"silent laugh by a short burst of breath through the nose"
"silent laugh through the nose"

Maybe there is something more elegant or even conventional. If snort is too "rough".
AnonymousWhat do you call _the expression one makes when he smiles and passes air through his nose (this is usually done quickly and out of amusement)_? I
I don't think this is a natural sign of amusement in British or American cultures.
Thank you for these. I actually was hesitant to use snort since it indeed was a little too rough in my opinion.
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Hmm… I never considered that Emotion: indifferentEmotion: surprise I'm curious to find out, though. It seems I really need to get to the bottom of this act.

I know this is an old thread, but I came across this while trying to find the answer to this same question - it's making me crazy! In Finnish, there's a verb "hymähtää", which is like... everywhere! A parent might do it when a child shows them a picture - done in little amusement and a lot of fondness, but not really derisively. It's an expression which may happen between friends, spouses, family, teacher and student, while browsing old photo album, reading something crazy absurd in social media, seeing your cat being cute and basking in the sunlight. It's like... chuckle, but 100x times more subtle, same way as eyes glistening is 100x subtle than sobbing. It's like a British snort, but without the sneer and meanness in it. I've written in English for over a decade, and this is the one thing that I always find myself hitting my head against the wall with whenever I want to describe it!!

This thread made me think (a little tongue in cheek) for the first time that maybe yeah, it's just not an expression in British/American culture. Maybe it's too quiet and subtle of an expression for anyone but damn Finns who communicate with little breaths!