- One of TikTok’s text-to-speech voices appears to have changed on Monday.
- Users are testing the new text-to-speech voice by asking it to pronounce phrases like “deez nuts.”
- Others are testing the its ability to say repeating words, and comparing it to retail commercials.
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On Monday, TikTok got a new voice. The platform’s incredibly popular text-to-speech feature, which originally rolled out in late 2020, now appears to feature a different female voice than its original, leading to users testing its ability to say a variety of words and phrases. Now, TikTok users are putting the new voice through its paces, testing out its capacity to say multiples of the same word along with various lewd or prank-related phrases.
Reports of a new text-to-speech voice began to emerge on TikTok on Monday, with users posting videos reacting to the new tone, which has distinctly different vocal inflections from the previous text-to-speech voice. The exact reason for the change is unclear, though it comes after a professional voice actor, Beverly Standing, filed a lawsuit against ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, alleging that it had used recordings of her voice without permission for the text-to-speech function.
Most notably, they’re posting about how the new text-to-speech voice says the words “deez nuts.” While TikTok users posted about generally testing out meme-specific or lewd phrases, the new text-to-speech voice’s pronunciation of “deez nuts” specifically drew attention, with multiple people commenting on it in viral videos.
“LMAOO watch how this new girl says this,” @natanael.lol wrote in an on-screen caption of a video about the pronunciation.
“Deez nuts” – nuts, as in testicles – is a joke phrase that’s been around since at least the 1990s. Know Your Meme reported that it traces back to a skit track called “Deeez Nuuuts” on Dr. Dre’s 1992 album “The Chronic.” However, it exploded in popularity in 2015 after internet creator WelvenDaGreat posted a video of him saying “deez nuts” in a phone conversation (and then laughing uproariously) that went viral. Soon after, Google searches for the phrase “deez nuts” spiked. As Vox reported, in 2015 a 15-year-old from Iowa filed a form to launch a presidential campaign for a fictional candidate named “Deez Nuts.”
The phrase is also regularly invoked in exchanges where one person attempts to trick another into asking something along the lines of “what’s bofa” or “what’s ligma,” to which the other person answers “bofa deez nuts” and “ligma balls.”
Search interest in the term began to rise once again in April and May 2021, Google trends show. While “deez nuts” never really disappeared after WelvenDaGreat’s viral video, the phrase has experienced a spike in popularity on TikTok alongside the rise of similar jokes, particularly one involving the name “Candice.”
The new text-to-speech voice’s pronunciation of the phrase is strikingly confident, and if not for the subject matter, wouldn’t feel out of place in a summer retail commercial. One comment on @natanael.lol’s viral video about the pronunciation captures its tone through bold type and italicization: “Deez nuts.”
@hooodjabi LIKE WHY DO U TALK LIKE THAT???? #foryou #fyp #viral #viralvideo #4u #4youpage
@xthat.one.kidx DEEZ ???? NUTS ???????? #omg #newtexttospeechvoice #tiktokupdate #texttospeech #valleygirl #WHY #grammarly #watchmojo
“Deez nuts” isn’t the only way that TikTok users are putting the voice through a trial by fire. Some are determined to make the voice say other lewd phrases, while others are attempting to break it by making it say a single word three times in succession or simply asking it to pronounce the letter “h” repeatedly.
While the novelty of the new text-to-speech voice is a surprise, the shock won’t last forever. “Deez nuts” jokes, however, are eternal.