Most dictionaries (ABC/A Chinese-English Dict) claim that 噗/扑 are variants of each other, while giving 扑 as the simplified form of 撲.

Liang'an seems to say that 扑 is the simplified version of 噗. [This seems wrong].

Hanyu Da Cidian offers another alternative: 噗嗵.

百度知道 has the following question: 扑通与噗通的区别





With the best answer having been chosen as:



Another answer claimed:



and lastly another reply:



I'm not sure where the claims that 扑通 is not onomatopoeia are coming from, as it seems to be widely accepted that it indeed is.

  • Can Anyone Clarify Things A Bit: What's The Difference Between 噗通 and 扑通?
  • There are many different variants for the same onomatopoeia in Chinese, like 哎呀, 哎呦, 哎哟, 诶呀, 诶呦, etc, they are interchangable, don't need to distinguish one from the other.
    – xenophōn
    Sep 30, 2019 at 11:27

2 Answers 2


The way I see it is that 噗通 is neutrally describing the "plonk" sound when you drop something into a liquid, while 扑通 describes something going "plonk" into a liquid (there are other uses of these characters to describe other sounds). Generally, one is an action, the other is a sound.

Because the 2nd one is an action of "going plonk" (to phrase it inelegantly), it could be used comically to describe somebody falling into a pond, for instance. But, I wouldn't say that it's usage is connected to something being comical all or even most of the time.

Contrary to what one of your sources says, 噗 and 扑 are not variants of each other, and 扑 is not the simplified form of 噗 (it's the simplified form of 撲). It just so happens that the two are interchangeable in this one word.

Even though this difference exists, most people seem not to distinguish between them because they sound the same and are so similar in meaning. Many people will just use 扑通 all the time, especially on a computer when sifting through 扑通 and 噗通 is a pain.

To back up my claim with google:

扑通: 969,000 results

噗通: 639,000 results (and most of them a K-drama)

噗嗵: 74,000 results

  • As for 噗嗵, my IME (sougou) doesn't even have an option for it. You'd probably have to be really picky and devoted to use it over the other two (as reflected by google)
    – sqrtbottle
    Jul 5, 2015 at 13:46

no much difference. this one is better: 噗嗵.

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