What verb can I use when someone speaks while being throttled?

Let's say Peter is throttling Mark, who says something through a constricted throat. I was thinking of "grate". An ngram search gave me some results with the expression "grated out".

So, for example, can I say,

'Stop it!' Mark grated out.

I also thought of the verb "rasp", but to my ear, it doesn't seem to convey this specific meaning I'm looking for.

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    I would not understand what grated out meant. I don't know a specific word that meets your requirement. Sputtered might be close.
    – EllieK
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 16:14
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    @OldBrixtonian. The freedicitonary gives this definition of grate: 2. To cause to make a harsh grinding or rasping sound through friction: grated her teeth in anger. So, I thought, if a person can grate their teeth, why not words?
    – Fra
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 16:29
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    I've never heard the verb 'grate' used that way, though from the first handful of books I looked at from your NGram result, it does seem to be used that way sometimes. It isn't in Cambridge or Lexico dictionaries. Commented May 24, 2022 at 16:46
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    It's the sound that seems grated: like something being grated on a grater. "'Hello,'" he grated" doesn't sound right to me. Commented May 24, 2022 at 16:50
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    @Fra: [Sorry - I was re-writing my comment when you wrote yours.] Yes, we can grate our teeth. But I don't think we can grate out "Hello". You can grind out a tune, because that's what hurdy-gurdies did, but I've never heard anyone grind out "Stop it!". Mark can say "Stop it" in a grating voice, but I wouldn't make him grate out "Stop it". Some writers use it, so - it's your choice. I'm in the UK btw: maybe it's different where you are :) ... Commented May 24, 2022 at 17:29

2 Answers 2


Change "grated" to "blubbered" and it would be spot on, I feel certain. One dictionary defines "blubber out" as "utter while crying". I have heard it used to mean utter incoherently or whilst under stress or duress.

[Update] But after rereading the question, I realize that I had the meaning of "throttle" wrong. In that case I believe that ""Mark croaked out" is appropriate. Don't you?


I'd use "gurgle".

From Merriam-Webster:

gurgle verb
2 : to make a sound like that of a gurgling liquid
// the baby gurgling in his crib

This verb suggests some kind of restriction, and if Hollywood is to be believed, that's the sound people make when they're being choked.

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