I just wrote an email where I was sharing someone's voicemail greeting, but instead of referring to it as a voicemail greeting, I simply called it a voicemail.

I called this number and it left a voice mail telling me to call his cell phone.

Am I using voicemail correctly here? Or should I have said "voice mail greeting" instead? The former came to mind automatically, so I wrote that in my email. But I realized after writing it that it could easily be confused with the voicemail you leave on someone's answering machine.

What would you call a voice mail greeting? Would you call it a voice mail greeting, a voice mail, or an answering message? Are all three equally acceptable?

  • Voice mail greeting, it is. But it's okay if you already sent the mail. – NVZ Oct 6 '17 at 7:40
  • Yes, a voicemail is what you leave on someone's answering machine. I'm not sure there is a nice and unambiguous word for the greeting. "Voicemail message" could easily refer to the voicemail you leave as well. – Mr Lister Oct 6 '17 at 8:57
  • No, you can't. You seem to be asking whether the message offering you the facility of leaving a voicemail is itself a voicemail. Is that right? Message or even answer might work… – Robbie Goodwin Oct 7 '17 at 19:53
  • I think informally referring to it as a 'voicemail' is pretty common. If you're writing more formally, 'voicemail message' is also great – shea Oct 9 '17 at 22:41

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