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Valspeak is a slang term adopted to describe the way of speaking used by valley girl. Valspeak became popular throughout the U.S. during the 1970s and 1980s. In some places, it remained common into the 1990s.

This dialect began in Southern California, specifically the San Fernando Valley, and is thought to have originated from the blond girls living in the area, who became included in the dumb blond stereotype.

Like many other fads, valspeak may have gained recognition due to exposure within the recording industry when Moon Unit Zappa released an album when she spoke strings of valspeak in the background of the songs. Moon Unit is the daughter of the legendary Frank Zappa. She was fourteen at the time of the recording.

Also, in 1995, the movie Clueless brought back the popularity of valspeak. The movie starred Alicia Silverstone and was directed by Amy Heckerling.

The pattern of speech includes phrases like gag me with a spoon, fer sure, like totally, gnarly and duh! Valspeak can be recognized by a rising intonation pattern, known as upspeak. Parents during the era of popularity often considered valspeak annoying.

See also