Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

A Vocal Fry That Could Cook Eggs

Posted by Elyse Bruce on July 3, 2014

To understand the expression a vocal fry that could cook eggs, you have to understand what a vocal fry is.  A vocal fry is a term that entered vocal music pedagogists vocabulary in the early 1970s.  The vocal fry is produced by allowing the voice to slide down the register until it reaches the low vibrations that sound, according to many, just a little creaky and creepy.  And, what most people don’t know, is that the vocal fry actually causes vocal cord damage.

It’s used by lead singers of heavy metal bans to produce aggressive growls and screams.  It’s used by some bass singers in American country and gospel music.  It’s found in choral music when true basses are missing from the chorus, and tenors and contraltos find themselves “frying” the low notes in order to sing SATB arrangements.

The opposite of a vocal fry is falsetto.

So a vocal fry that could cook eggs is a very descriptive phrase that came about some time after the early 1970s, and it means a harsh and irritating voice that is very extreme and lasts for a long time.

The only time Idiomation has heard the expression used was in a conversation with author William Storke.  Idiomation was also unable to find any published versions of this expression.

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