I have a scene where one of my characters talk with a clothes peg on their nose. I'm trying to find the correct word to describe the way someone's voice sounds when they talk like that.

It's the opposite of "nasally", but apparently the opposite of nasally is "orally", and no reader is going to understand that meaning.

4 Answers 4


I think you might have your adjectives round the wrong way.... someone who talks as if they have a clothes peg on their nose talks 'nasally'.

Nasally is an adjective used to describe the way one's voice sounds with a cold, or with a stuffy nose.

The opposite of nasally, would be clear, normal speech.

  • I was thinking that might be a possibility. But it just didn't make sense to me; how can someone talk nasally (i.e. through their nose) when their nose is blocked (either with a clothes peg, or like you said, they have a cold) and air can't actually get through the nose
    – klippy
    Jul 22, 2019 at 12:43

Hyponasal (adjective) or hyponasality (noun) seems to be the word for this, so hyponasally would be a possible adverb. Wikipedia defines it thus:

Hyponasal speech, denasalization or rhinolalia clausa is a lack of appropriate nasal airflow during speech,[1] such as when a person has nasal congestion.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is more technical:

Hyponasality—occurs when there is not enough nasal resonance on nasal sounds due to a blockage in the nasopharynx or nasal cavity.

(Apparently the term "nasal speech" can be used to refer to people who have too much or too little air through their nose, but because of the ambiguity I'd avoid it in the latter sense. Here's a letter from the European Journal of Human Genetics noting that ambiguity.)


Nasalization or When to speak through your nose. Like many other languages, Gaelic has nasalized vowels. In linguist-speak that means that you lower your velum while making the vowel sound. In other words, instead of air passing just through your mouth, some air also escapes through your nose.


It is hyponasal voice. It's the same voice as you are speaking by pinching your nose, generally occurs when something stuffed. It's common in cold with running nose.

  • Hello, Dikshant. Thanks for posting, this word is a good option. You should give references; that is the custom here, and it would make your post more complete by showing why your answer is good. Please take the tour if you haven't, and read how to answer. Welcome to ELU, cheers!
    – Conrado
    Aug 1, 2020 at 17:07
  • Also, I see that your word was already given in an answer by Stuart. Repeating answers without new information is a no-no here. You should delete this question before it accidentally gets voted up and frozen in place. Cheers!
    – Conrado
    Aug 1, 2020 at 18:27

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