Millions of young women are keeping up with their favourite celebrities ... by speaking like them.

Scientists have found fans are adopting a croaky drawl known as "vocal fry", copying US stars like Katy Perry and the Kardashian family.

The phenomenon may be down to women thinking that lower voices make them seem more masculine - allowing them to compete with men in the workplace.

Also known as creaky voice, it involves elongating certain syllables so that they vibrate at the back of the throat.

Advertisement

The experiment by researchers at Louisiana State University found that 86 per cent students had vocal fry when asked to repeat a list of made-up words.

Writing in the Journal of Voice, Todd Gibson, assistant professor in communication science reported: "The results suggest that even when words have no meaning, young female speakers will seek to ...add emphasis with vocal fry.

"Research has several theories as to why women use vocal fry: for example, reflecting sociolinguistic cues such as the need to sound more masculine."