We now know if the recording was saying ‘Yanny’ or ‘Laurel’

Is the word 'yanny' or 'laurel'? Now we know.


David Britton

Internet Culture

Posted on May 17, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 3:32 pm CDT

Let the debate cease and the gloating begin.

If you’ve spent the past couple of days arguing with your friends about whether the recording below says “Yanny” or “Laurel,” one of you was right.

The tweet, posted by Cole Feldman of California, went insanely viral after she posted it on Monday evening, wracking up a ton of likes and retweets and sparking debate all over the internet.

“I posted it on Twitter,” she told “I didn’t think much of it and I woke up the next morning to all these mentions and tweets from celebrities and different news outlets and I saw this tweet basically blew up.”

Alex Trebek rang in to say he heard “Yanny”.

Ellen DeGeneres heard “Laurel”.

And, naturally, Yanni had to weigh in.

There were countless articles written about the subject. Linguist and audio experts were consulted, and they seemed to agree that the difference in what people were hearing had to do with the frequency of the clip. For instance, some people heard different words depending on whether they listened to it on headphones or on speakers. The New York Times even created a tool that let you play with the pitch of the clip.

Now, Cole Feldman has explained how she found the clip and what it was intended to say.

Feldman found the post on Reddit and decided to track down the original poster to see what prompted her to post the video.

“Her name is Katie,” Feldman told Inside Edition. “She emailed me and we have been talking. It was her vocabulary project and she was playing the word out loud and ended up coming up with this phenomenon.”

“I heard ‘Yanny’ and I knew that wasn’t one of my vocab words,” Hetzel said. “So I had my friend… listen to it, and he heard ‘Laurel.'”

That’s right, the word is “Laurel” and you can hear the original recording on

In Body Image

A laurel is “a wreath word on the head, usually as s symbol of victory.” Which means anyone who thought the word was “laurel” all along can go out and buy themselves one.

Everyone else can console themselves with this clip:


H/T Inside Edition

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*First Published: May 17, 2018, 4:14 pm CDT