up·​speak | \ ˈəp-ˌspēk How to pronounce upspeak (audio) \
variants: or less commonly up-speak

Definition of upspeak

: uptalk Speak with confidence. Lots of people have speech patterns that convey uncertainty. Eliminate upspeak—giving the last syllable a higher inflection. — Kathryn Rem, The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Illinois), 21 June 1998 … the giddy upspeak of the L.A. Basin (Hi? My name is Mary?) …— Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2000

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Other Words from upspeak

upspeak or less commonly up-speak intransitive verb upspoke\ ˈəp-​ˌspōk How to pronounce upspeak (audio) \ also up-spoke; upspoken\ ˈəp-​ˌspō-​kən How to pronounce upspeak (audio) \ also up-spoken; upspeaking also up-speaking; upspeaks also up-speaks
There's this linguist? Cynthia McLemore? Who studied female students at the University of Texas? Who up-speak a lot? And she found out that up-talk may very well serve a useful purpose. All those up inflections? They draw attention to what one says, McLemore claims. — Bonnie McGrath, Chicago Tribune, 28 Nov. 1993

First Known Use of upspeak

1994, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of upspeak was in 1994

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Dictionary Entries Near upspeak

up someone's street



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Cite this Entry

“Upspeak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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