vocal fry

noun

Definition of vocal fry

phonetics
: a vocal effect produced by very slow vibration of the vocal cords and characterized by a creaking sound and low pitch

Note: As with other kinds of laryngealization, vocal fry is produced by constricting the larynx. The effect is used typically at the ends of phrases and sentences.

… the professors said they had found evidence of a new trend among female college students: a guttural fluttering of the vocal cords they called “vocal fry.” A classic example of vocal fry, best described as a raspy or croaking sound injected (usually) at the end of a sentence, can be heard when Mae West says, “Why don't you come up sometime and see me” …— Douglas Quenqua, New York Times, 28 Feb. 2012 Oh vocal fry … that gravelly, “is she hungover?” tone you hear when Britney Spears and Emma Stone speak. It's widespread among young women, but it doesn't project clarity or confidence in the workplace.— Annie Tomlin, Cosmopolitan, February 2014

called also creaky voice

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First Known Use of vocal fry

1963, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of vocal fry was in 1963

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Cite this Entry

“Vocal fry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vocal%20fry. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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