Tourette’s Syndrome: Why I Say Bewp

Bewp Sunny

I have been bewping for the past few weeks. Bewp–a nonsense word–roosted in my brain weeks ago. This simple syllable bursts out of my idle mouth and mind continuously.


Why do I say bewp?

Imagine an insufferable itch. Once you say “Bewp”, it goes away.



Bewp Cloudy

When Tourette’s and autism are part of your life, vocal tics can be quite jolly but not everyone else is in on the joke. And it is a joke, an “in thing,” a single word that word sets neurons afire like Shakespeare or the catchiest tune.


Think of a song, haunting you long after you heard it, and condense its melody into a word. This is also bewp to me.


Bewp pleases my mouth muscles. Which delights more, the b’s bilabial stop that feels like a kiss? The yodeling long u? Or the plosive, spitting, p? All three, please! A circus for my teeth and tongue.


With proper intonation, bewp conveys every emotion. Bewp is a festive word to punctuate the joy of sunny days and happy feelings.

Bewp is also a moody, melancholy, utterance; fit for rainy days and misty mornings.

Perhaps bewp is most of all a nighttime sound, filling my head instead of sleep. I stare at the dark speckled ceiling whispering “Bewp bewp bewp…”

Bewp Nightime


This happened last night.

My husband dashed down the stairs with quick thump-bump footsteps. He swished to the patio door and flung it open with action-hero intensity. “Bewp!”  I said.

SSSSSSShhhhttT!” he shushed me. I gasped. I have not been shushed since my porpoise squeaks became problematic during Wimbledon nine years ago.

His scolding stunned me silent (but I thought, “Bewp?”). Why, I asked, amidst an ocean of my odd noises, did this bothered him? He said he simply heard one too many bewps today and he wanted me to stop. He huffed up the stairs as I laughed and laughed. Tears streaked my face,  my stomach cramped. Asking a Touretter to stop a tic is an exercise in ironic process theory. Try not to think of a pink elephant.

Bewp, husband, bewp.

I dried happy-silly tears, reflecting on my son’s parade of strange and repeated vocalizations. Bewp is to me as “Bim bim bim” is to him (or “Angus pow,” “Moo moo MOOO,” and “Porta-potty banana”).  Some word or sound will always hijack our voices.

Tomorrow, bewps and bims will continue, and so will my sanguine husband’s cheer, for our home is an accepting one. Everyone deserves a safe space to be their unique selves. So, if your child says the same thing over and over, be calm. Accept. Those utterances may provide comfort, relief, and delight in a way you do not understand.  Nurture self-confidence, for we are not all made the same and that is a blessing.

24 thoughts on “Tourette’s Syndrome: Why I Say Bewp

    1. “Bewp pleases my mouth muscles. Which delights more, the b’s bilabial stop that feels like a kiss? The yodeling long u? Or the plosive, spitting, p? All three, please! A circus for my teeth and tongue.”

  1. This is fabulous. In our house, the recurrent phrase at the moment is “Chicken nugget sandwich”. Said very quickly 😉

  2. I’m Autistic and I’m pretty sure I don’t have Tourette’s, but for me, it’s “ealy” which means “silky”, and is related to my favorite stim: rubbing silk and telling it how ealy it — well, usually I say “she” — is and how much I love “her”. “Ealy lovable soft comfy silk … I love my silk, she’s so wonderful …”

  3. Bewpiful! Thank you for writing this. I am sharing because I’ve met too many people who think such tics are an “excuse” for behaviors they prefer not to face or think about. I love your descriptive writing and the way it appeals to my heart!

  4. Just want to say thank you for this lovely and lucid piece. My boyfriend has Tourette-ish tendencies that drive me up the wall sometimes (Chezza’s comment above rings a bell – “chicken” is likewise a favorite with him, as is “pork pie hat”). But I think this helps me understand a bit better where he’s coming from.

  5. I’ve been bewped!! 🙂

    And for this:

    “Nurture self-confidence, for we are not all made the same and that is a blessing.”

    Thank you.

    May you bloom,

  6. i ❤ t his so much! bewp! (i can't hear the yodelling part in my head, but i love the kissing b and explosive p in bewp just like i do in boop, which i say to my kitties often whilst booping them ❤ ❤

  7. OK…here goes…Can’t get around it. A few years ago, a wise 5 year old I know was watching me work. She looked at me curiously and said, “you know, you bewp”. I wasn’t sure what she meant and thought I had burped or worse… and kind of laughed it off. Then whenever she saw me, she would say “hi Bewp!” Hmmm, how did I get labeled this?
    A few days later, I was working, picking up tools and laying down cable, and I caught myself doing a very curious thing. I would punctuate each different point of movement with the soft patter of a bouncing syllable. Bewp. By God, Lit’l Ellie was right! I bewp. When I am in a rhythm with my hands of doing and acting, I bewp along.
    ( Soon I found myself giving Lit’l Ellie the moniker “LaLa” because, of course, her happy patter sound that she used was la la… lala..)..
    I’ve lost touch with my dear lit’l friend Lala… But bewp stuck. Some people around me came to notice this word becoming a “term’ with me and came to find it somewhere between endearing and annoying… though, like it or not, some found it curiously contagious ..
    . So when I found this article yesterday it totally followed and helped vindicate my ‘engagement” with the sound.

    I use it as an intro instead of Hi or hey in writing…Everyone knows it’s my text because… oh yeah… from bewp… I use bewp as a greeting to someone coming in from the other room… … “wait to leave a message after the beep?” The sound is more a bewp…bewp is the new beep…. I’ll bewp you later… bewp out….. it is a joyful sound…It’s the new “pop”… I bewped down to the quickiemart… I bewped the ball right in the hole… it’s the new “bump”…. that band was totally bewpin’!…and I bewped into that girl I told you about!..
    ….but “beeewwwp” can be a bummer too… When I’m done working a long day with my hands, I’m not pooped… I’m bewped.
    But of course an obvious one is a cute contact like bewping her lit’l nose…. or a lit’l bewp on her butt … So this article has helped me understand why this curious sound appears and appeals with me. It is a sound of engagement. I find the spelling compelling. ( Boop is different. Leave that to Betty.) ….BEWP has it’s own roll. I have found it to be about – Being Engaged With People… (although as I drift off to sleep I Engage with Pillows… and a lit’l bewp,bewp bewp mantra sometimes calms my thoughts …let it go… shake it off… bewp, bewp, bewp.) Bewp. so, anyway… kinda silly but… sometimes the silliest stuff can have real meaning and purpose. That’s my story.. and I’m bewpin’ wit’ it.

    as the writer sweetly says: “Bewp pleases my mouth muscles. Which delights more, the b’s bilabial stop that feels like a kiss? The yodeling long u? Or the plosive, spitting, p? All three, please! A circus for my teeth and tongue.”


  8. What a great post, thanks for this.
    My dd (7) has autism and I’m starting to think possibly tourette’s as we are starting to see what look like vocal and physical tics. Thanks for helping me see it from her point of view.

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