Vocal Pauses Like “Uh” and “Um” Are Known As?
Answer: Speech Disfluencies
Even the smoothest speaker will find themselves occasionally pausing in their speech and filling in the gap with something like “Uhhh…” or “Umm…” as they collect their thoughts or restructure the sentence they were about to utter.
Those pauses are a type of speech disfluency, a break, irregularity, or non-lexical interjection in regular fluent speech. Pausing and filling breaks in conversation with “Uhhhh” or the like is a specific kind of speech disfluency known as a filler. Every recorded language has some variation of a filler, typically a single syllable and uttered during an exhalation. While Americans are prone to saying “Uh” or “Um”, the British tend to say “Er” or “Erm”, and the Spanish tend to say “Ehhh”.
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