Home > Mac, OS X > Fun with Mac “say” command

Fun with Mac “say” command

Macs have a fun command-line program called “say”. You type “say” and enter some text and it reads to you. I like pasting news articles into it and having it read them to me.

Applications > Utilities > Terminal else     Search for Terminal in spotlight

Trying typing: say hello, I am your Mac and hit return.

For fun you can change the voice with the -v flag. One example alternate voice is “Whisper”. So act like there is someone trapped in the computer you could enter:

say -v Whisper Help, get me out of this computer. Garga Mel locked me in here again!

Here are a list of the available voices that come on a Mac. The names are case sensitive and enter the names in quotes if there is a space in the name:

Female Voices

  • Agnes – relatively natural female voice
  • Kathy – sounds like a computer, kind of like the computer voice
  • Princess – kind of sounds like an old lady
  • Vicki – most natural, kind of whispery
  • Victoria – computery sounding

Male Voices

  • Bruce – most natural male voice
  • Fred – sounds like a computer
  • Junior – sounds like a girl
  • Ralph – deep voice

Novelty Voices

Albert – funny weak whispery high pitched voice
Bad News – very slow lo-pitched voice (put “Bad News” in quotes)
Bahh – choppy whispery weak voice
Bells – Melodic bells within voice, relatively slow paced
Boing – Mid-pitched typical computer voice with “boing” sound in each syllable
Bubbles – Whispery voice with bubble sounds in each syllable
Cellos – Melodic voice with cello voice, each syllable is a successive note in a simple tune
Deranged – Old man-ish voice, think Grandpa Simpson
Good News – Says words to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance” or other tunes
Hysterical – Laughing/chuckling man voice (funny but hard to understand)
Pipe Organ – Low “pipe organ” melodic voice
– Monotonous mid-pitched computer voice
Whisper – Whispery, kind of desperate sounding, sounds like it is having trouble breathing
Zarvox – Monotonous mid-pitched computer voice

Enjoy the fun!!

Categories: Mac, OS X Tags: , , , ,
  1. Tobellicus
    May 26, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Princess is actually a little girls voie

  2. Tobellicus
    May 26, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Princess is actually a little girls voice

  3. bob
    July 4, 2012 at 1:45 am

    you’re a little girls voice

  4. June 2, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Pro tip: if you want to type an apostrophe, escape it with \’.
    e.g.: say -v Hysterical stop it, you\’re tickling me

  5. September 16, 2015 at 11:07 am

    say ‘doe ray me far sew lah tea sew lah tea sew lah tea doe ray me far sew lah tea sew lah tea lah tea lah’ -v cellos

  1. May 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm

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