word allergies

fenugreek, a mighty nice word, Canon Digital Rebel

When you’re in the world of baby names, you become acutely aware of the names that totally rub you the wrong way or that just feel wrong in your mouth. You know what I mean. The names that make you think of pharmaceuticals or new diseases.

Recently, my friend and I had a lively discussion about words and expressions that we are allergic to. For her (she is a food critic) it is “foodie.” I almost used it on my site and she explained to me very passionately that she is trying to remove it from the gourmet lexicon. For me, it’s the expression “pick your brain” as in “Can I pick your brain?” which to me sounds really scary and gross, or like someone wants to consume me. I am also not a fan of the word “blogosphere.”

What are your word allergies?

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. Savannah

    Wow, first comment! I’m allergic to body words, such as ‘feet’ and ‘nails’ and ‘nose’, because try writing a romance scene and wanting to make it very smooth and beautiful, but you keep running into icky words.

  2. Heather

    Motherload and moist. I hate to see or hear those words, they gross me out!! strange I know.

  3. sallyrogers

    Squishy. I don’t like squishy or slimy or squashed. Gag makes me, well….
    To counter that I think of words I love: reverberate, scintillating, tactile, fruit, scent, tangible, baby.

  4. Kelly


  5. Chookooloonks

    PHLEGM. For obvious reasons. BILE is first runner-up.
    On the positive side, I’ve always loved the word “syzygy.” Isn’t that a great word? It’s when the sun, the moon and Earth are all lying in a straight line.
    Syzygy. Just feels good saying it.

  6. alison

    rhymes with spit and starts with a c. Hate it! I wish people would use the full word–the one that rhymes with delores. hee hee.

  7. carol

    Wow, the words I hate are already up there – panties and moist. Yuck. And putting them together like that makes it even worse. Sorry about that. GROSS. I also hate the phrase, “at the end of the day”, but that really falls under cliches and not single words, so sorry for that tangent.

  8. Julia

    Andrea… I loved this post. 🙂 For me it’s the way certain people say things, when they are trying to sound well educated, or wise or superior, or something…, and they come off sounding pompous and ignorant. (example:George Bush) Also I hate the expression “As if…” sometimes used as a qustion, but more frequently as a put down or to dimiss others. I also hate it when I hear people use the word “axed” when they mean to say “asked.” And don’t get me started on the baby names thing….. I teach at grade school level and just when I think I’ve heard every possible “unique” name, or spelling or pronunciation of a name… I meet a new student whose parents were very creative in the naming of their child. Now don’t get me wrong… I love interesting, ethnic names and those with sinificance to family history or religious tradition. But I recently met a child with the name “Passion Flower” with her middle name being “Oracle”. While I love both of these words… I couldn’t help imagining how often people will confuse these words and not think of them as her name… but rather a mistake when filling out a form or a “typo” on the paper. Or the teasing she’ll get from others, or worse… not being taken seriously in the adult world. Sad as this is to say….”Passion Flower Oracle Smith” with an “M.D.” or “Phd.” or “Attorney at Law” tacked the the end, might not inpsire the confidence of others in our uptight society. Good luck with your work of baby naming… FYI: don’t read too many of those baby names books. I did this during my preganacy and after a while it just became really too much, and I ended up naming my daughter the name I had always loved and held dear since I was very young myself, and thought that I’d name a little girl if ever I had one. So go with your heart and your gut, and whatever name you decide upon will be the right one and “word allergy free”. Blessings and health to you and your baby. 🙂

  9. la vie en rose

    my word alergies are ususally centered around derogatory tems that people like to use for women–have that!!! even when its not used directly towards a woman. for instance my nephew plays football and i noticed the coach yelling at him, “stop pussy-footin’ around.” i didn’t like that at all!….UGH!

  10. Jennifer

    I too hate the word ‘axe’ when someone is trying to say ‘ask’. I hate the word irregardless (which technically isn’t even a word anyway).

  11. suzanne

    THANK YOU – foodie is a word that makes my skin crawl. yuck. i also hate it when people say “where are you at?”

  12. Adrienne

    I’m allergic to the word schmutz. Also whenever someone tells me to “think outside the box” and means it, I feel the vague urge to throw things.

  13. Lunarmuisngs

    Oooohhh…. I often dream about doing a whole post on this. I think I will at some point. But for the record – AIN’T – is NOT a word. But now, horrors of horrors, they are including it in Websters! Its the destruction of the English language I tell you. Everytime I hear it I cringe.
    Others words,
    axe instead of ask
    cunt… can I say that here? sorry. but I can’t have this word at all!!!!
    phlegm… it even looks ugly the word that is…
    there are many others… but you get the picture.

  14. Anu

    “my bad”. I hate that. Instead of saying “I’m sorry, I made a mistake” they say “my bad”. Yechhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

  15. georgy

    Succlent –
    This is a scary word for me.
    There’s a long story behind it – but – yep. that’s the word.

  16. sam

    Brat. i hate that word, woe to the person who uses it in reference to me because i will probably physically attack them. (probably some sort of childhood thing, but then isn’t it all?) 😉

  17. Trish

    loin, groin, moist – i just can’t stand them.
    oh, and i can’t forget the phrase “pet peeve” – like nails on a chalkboard, terrible!

  18. amanda

    lol, check this out: http://www.slate.com/id/2146866/?nav=tap3
    i don’t really have any proper words that i dislike, but there are some slang words (like ‘poo instead of shampoo – yes! there are people who say that!) and misused words (like referring to just any ole body as an “S.O”) that get me slightly agitated.
    there are a lot of phrases i don’t like, like “think outside the box” or “suck it up.” i don’t like sports references used in everyday life, either, because i get confused. an “end run?” innings and yardlines? what is that supposed to mean to me?
    I have also tried not to use “foodie” but “gourmand” is pretentious and doesn’t apply to all food lovers, “food lover” itself is a label that seems limiting somehow, and my attempts at using “culinary adventurer” have been received with quizzical looks. oh, well. if your friend has a preferred replacement, please let me know. 🙂

  19. melissa

    I’m quite sincerely allergic to made up business words/incorrect business-usages. My first boss in CorporateLand insisted that any client could be won over with “sexy charts and graphs.” (In fact, he used the adjective ‘sexy’ for wayyyy to many boring business things.) Several years later, I was working in a company that made up a new business-word: “glocal” (indicating thinking globally but keeping a local feel). The day that I was sent a pile of powerpoint presentations and told to “work the word ‘Glocal’ into each one at least three times”, I knew it was time to give up the corporate gig for good.

  20. sinead

    Great post!
    So many allergies, so little time…
    Here are a few:
    gift (as a verb)
    texted (As in “I texted her.” )

  21. brenda in toronto

    any words that are “baby-fied”, such as “blankie” or “prezzie”. ick.

  22. jen gray

    my bad.
    making love.
    inner child.

  23. jen gray

    my bad.
    making love.
    inner child.

  24. Lori

    just about any slang for the female anatomy except snatch, which I think is funny
    sexy (when used to refer to inanimate objects, especially software features and PowerPoint presentations)
    I also recently developed an allergy to the word ‘mommyblogger.’ Please, no more.

  25. Laura

    Oh, this is a fun one. There are so many to choose from, but I’ll be brief. I dislike intensely the word “cakehole.” As in “shut your cakehole.” AUGH. Can’t even stand typing it!

  26. jolene

    get over it.

  27. Melissa

    Mine are all slang related, and it probably has a lot to do with the fact that I’m completely incapable of saying anything slang-y and getting away with it. I just sound like a phony.
    Hella, as in “That’s hella cool.” Cat, as in “He’s a cool cat.” “Right on, dude.”
    My brother says all of these regularly, and I always feel absolutely mortified when one of them comes out of his mouth. It’s not that I’m embarrassed to be with him–I just feel embarrassed for him. Like watching The Office or something.
    Salon.com has a section on their message boards where people post outrageous baby names. It’s good for a laugh, or maybe an idea…

  28. Joy

    I hate the words “hard-on” and “feces”.
    But I love the words myriad, texture, spatula & skillet.

  29. Boho

    funny that you ask my friend. i don’t like the word “allergy”. *big smile*
    seriously. i grew up with them and had them pretty bad when i was younger. that word represented feeling uncomfy and it also just sounded strange to me.
    whenenever my husband says it, which is quite often because he has them pretty bad, i feel myself cringe.
    “i have allergies” sounds gross.
    i am sure there are others…but that one stood out in my mind just now. 😉

  30. Leslie

    My word allergy is “space” the word “space” when it is used in decorating….this space, that space, open space, outdoor space and it is always said with a pronounced SP. Funny how words can annoy you.

  31. Megan

    both like nails on a chalkboard.

  32. Megan

    “preggers,” as in pregnant.
    Both like nails on a chalkboard.

  33. one black bird

    whimsical, over used.
    maggot, (it is difficult to even write it) yuk!
    let’s do (lunch) or “I’ll do” the salmon when ordering food. Sounds like it is going to get something naughty done to it.

  34. Catharine


  35. chrissy


  36. amy j

    Um, I never really thought about it…let’s see.
    “whatever”…hate that. I hear it and immediately want to slap whoever just said it.
    “working mother” (guess that’s two words)…REALLY hate this one…we’re all working moms, some of us just do it at home.
    “diabetic”…only because I hear it all the time relating to my child as a blanket “title” for what she is. Everyone assumes she is a Type 2 diabetic and there just has to watch what she eats or something…that it will “go away”. She is Type 1, makes no insulin and NEVER will, watching what she eats won’t change it and it will NEVER go away. Basically, there are two types of diabetes…not just one. I’m forever seeing headlines about cures and such for diabetes, only to read that it related to Type 2, very irritating.
    “celebrity”…this has been given to way too many people nowadays and I’m tired of hearing about ALL of them.
    “Evil-doers”…need I give a reason why I hate this word? Could have more to do with the person who is CONSTANTLY saying it rather than the word(s) itself, lol.
    c*nt…the slang for the female vagina. HATE, HATE this word.

  37. penny

    making love, baby bump, wart

  38. becky

    wow, I never knew I had company in my allergic reaction to the word “moist” – I can’t STAND that word! I think it might even be the letter pairing of “oi” that I can’t stand…ointment also makes my skin crawl. And the shortening of words…my sister one time, just to annoy me (for fun) asked me if I liked “moist cukes” – as in CUCUMBERS! Cukes sounds too close to pubes. Wow – I could go on forever here 🙂

  39. adele

    i despise the term “preggers” as in pregnant. it’s so corny!
    the term “genius” makes my skin crawl because of how often we tell others that so-and-so is a “genius” when they are not, in the strict sense of a term. it esp. bugs me when we call pop stars and esp. ACTORS geniuses. if you are not albert einstien, beethoven or leonardo da vinci, then you are not a “genius”! lol.
    oh, and speaking of “pregnant”, i also think THAT term is overused when applied to things like skies and ideas. (ex. “the sky was pregnant with clouds”, “his idea was pregnant with beauty”.) it was a cool idea the first 500 times but now it’s too much.

  40. carrster

    I am putting my vote in for “panties.” I hate that word.
    Also I don’t like “all of a sudden…” What does that mean, anyway? I find myself saying it but it doesn’t make any sense.
    And I don’t really like the word flesh. It’s kind of gross to me.

  41. James

    are we on the same plate?
    he really stepped up to the plate on that one.
    come up to the plate.
    she’s batting a thousand.
    are we on the same page?
    Yo Bra.
    I am sooo out of here.
    I am literally in shock.
    I am like oh my god.
    Jesus H Christ.
    Fuck Buddy.
    and I don’t like the word horny.

  42. kristine

    Classy – most people I have met who describe something as ‘classy’ usually don’t have much exposure to anything upscale.
    Hubby – I hate, hate this phrase.
    Crafty or Artsy- makes me cringe! I fear that things made at Jo-Ann’s fabrics and the pre-made design your own cards with rubber stamp kits at Michaels will be seen in the same light as fine art when people call me crafty or artsy. Artsy seems whimsical and I don’t want to be whimsical. Makes me think my work isn’t taken seriously or valued for what it’s worth.

  43. Lucille

    Oh, I hate the word panties too. Also moist.
    I hate nauseous. Yuck. Gross word.
    I can’t stand that celebrity magazines overuse the word ‘bump’ to describe someone who’s pregnant. BUMP. Come on. What’s up with that? Everyone has a bump now…
    I hate the word ‘grody’. I don’t know if anyone uses that word anymore but I never liked it.
    And as for baby names, I don’t like when people have to be too creative with basically lovely names.

  44. Lucille

    Oh, I hate the word panties too. Also moist.
    I hate nauseous. Yuck. Gross word.
    I can’t stand that celebrity magazines overuse the word ‘bump’ to describe someone who’s pregnant. BUMP. Come on. What’s up with that? Everyone has a bump now…
    I hate the word ‘grody’. I don’t know if anyone uses that word anymore but I never liked it.
    And as for baby names, I don’t like when people have to be too creative with basically lovely names.

  45. Jessica Hood

    One of my co-workers in college used to keep a list of words I hated! Two that I can think of right off hand are geriatric (sounds yucky) and Rowena (small TX town’s name…ugly word!)

  46. Tiffany

    I have so many…”panties” and “moist” are at the top of the list, but the absolute worst word has to be “scab”. God, I can’t believe I even wrote it. My husband likes to use these words regularly and in the same sentence just to gross me out.

  47. Tonya

    Question. I don’t like when someone announces that they are about to ask a question before they ask. Just ask already.

  48. Tonyaru

    Question. I don’t like when someone announces that they are about to ask a question before they ask. Just ask already.

  49. Gayla

    panties and purse

  50. Liz

    I hate when people call their computer their ‘puter. Makes me run away screaming!!
    fun post!

  51. blair

    artsy fartsy. Ok that is a phrase, but it has always ticked me off!

  52. Pamela from Texas

    I go crazy when educated people say “nu-cu-lar” instead of “nuclear.” It particularly bothers me when people in politics (who should obviously know better) say it. Don’t they have people to correct them? If not, they should!!

  53. Pamela from Texas

    I go crazy when educated people say “nu-cu-lar” instead of “nuclear.” It particularly bothers me when people in politics (who should obviously know better) say it. Don’t they have people to correct them? If not, they should!!

  54. Teri

    I really despise the word BLOG. And lozenge.

  55. heather

    Most corporate buzzwords. The latest offender is “human capital.” Thank you, I suddenly feel like sheep.

  56. sara

    my short list would be “impact,” “summer,” and “party,” when used as verbs, as in:
    “her words impacted me” (molars, not people, are impacted)
    “where do you summer?” (ask Matt for the back story on that one)
    and, “dude, let’s party” (which, admittedly, no one has said to me for years).
    my long list would be, well, long.

  57. Vivienne

    Oh, these are making me laugh. Hard!
    The panties one is making me scratch my head, but each to their own.
    Here’s mine:
    My bad
    The whole getting in bed one, especially when a guy in a suit says it.
    Motherload is a good one too…I hate it!!!
    I love the word that my hubby calls me for some reason..Bitchalus…it reminds me of transformers…I don’t know why but I can’t stay mad when he calls me that! Yes, I am weird!

  58. beckka

    I’m giggling at all the “panties” and “moist” comments. I absolutely can’t stand the words meme and addicting. Blogosphere is very annoying too. I hate when the news media comes up with a new buzzword like “viral video” for some soft piece so they can use it over and over again and you know the guy who came up with it thinks he’s a genius.

  59. Jen

    I’ve never commented on this lovely blog before, but I just had to add my own allergy to the list. I HATE the word retarded. That word really does make my skin crawl. It’s just plain demeaning in every way.

  60. Leah

    Blouse. *shudder*

  61. jen gray

    this is so cleansing.
    camel toe
    sorry? ( as in i didnt hear you. please repeat ~ “sorry?”
    anal glands
    anal anything
    stool (as in poo)
    “that’s tight” ‘that’s hot”
    cradle cap
    pink eye
    hotdog juice

  62. Leah

    Ooh, also “preggers.”

  63. james

    oh i forgot,
    i will touch base with you
    or i will shoot you an email. urggg

  64. Jennifer

    When someone says “Delish” instead of Delicious….drives me around the bend!

  65. Jennifer

    I hate it when people say ‘ekspecially’ when they really mean ‘especially’ or ‘ekspresso’ when they should really be saying ‘espresso’…

  66. Sylvie

    brain fart. why was that ever invented. Arg!!!!

  67. Brian

    I love this list!
    It drives me crazy when people use certain words to describe websites that seem wildly inappropriate. Words like “sexy” or “robust.” It’s like nails on a chalk board.
    And I second “brain fart.” Oy. Where ever did that one come from?

  68. Tam

    Ooooh, I was having this same discussion the other day with a bunch of teachers. Almost all of us hate the words play date. What ever happened to calling your friends and asking them to play with you at a moments notice? Why do you need to schedule something like playing?
    I also can’t stand the word awesome. My boss uses it all the time. Makes my teeth ache!

  69. blackbird

    bullshit word created by marketing people.

  70. Jenny

    Oh dear, I have to type them.
    snarky (!!!)
    I can also become very upset when someone says “sherbert” instead of “sherbet”. Upset, irrationally so.

  71. hazelblackberry

    What a great bunch of awful words and phrases. In Australia people use the word legend far too much. “Mate, you are a f*****g legend.” I can’t stand it. Or people who use “courage” to desribe sportspeople.
    As far as “pick your brains” go, there’s a great, dark English comedy show called League of Gentlemen. In one scene a man enters a shop & said to the proprietress, “Pick your brains?” She crouches down, hands protecting her head, and says, “Noooooooo!”

  72. April

    I can’t stand the word “Functionality”.
    Somehow it sounds like a made-up word.
    My other peeve is the use of acronyms. They are completely odious. An acronym that means one thing in the business world will mean something completely different in healthcare….what’s the point?

  73. Kelli

    This is the funniest post! Mostly because my dear friend admitted to hating the word MOIST about a year ago; My husband and I couldn’t stop laughing. Such a benign word to be so hateful toward, but apparently it’s a tender subject for many…

  74. Lunarmuisngs

    ok wait! Whats an “anal gland”? Sounds wrong, but have no idea what it is… did I miss something in Physiology?

  75. Christine

    For some reason, I can’t stand the word nourish. Nourish, nourishing, nourishment…. Ack!!! It sends me twitching!
    I also share a dislike of using “axe” instead of “asked.” I hear that a lot and it makes my skin crawl.
    Finally, misprounouncing “diabetes.”
    Good post!

  76. dana

    carcass – as in a turkey carcass left over from thanksgiving dinner.
    mishap. such a wishy-washy word.

  77. JR

    Mine are “diva” and “soulmate.” God help the person who uses both of them in the same sentence.

  78. Lisa

    For me it’s ‘anyway’ because my mother-in-law has the most annoying habit of saying it when you tell her she’s already told you the same thing she’s now telling you numerous times…then she cocks her head like a Labrador, says, “Anyway…” and proceeds to tell you once again.
    My college room mate said ‘igleast’ instead of “at least,” and it rubbed me the wrong way.
    Other words that get me riled up:
    ‘libary’ instead of ‘libRary’
    ‘like’… “I was like at a stop light when like this guy in front of me like got out of his car…” This becomes even worse when it’s combined with ‘totally.’ “and he reached into his pocket and I was like totally freaking out!”

  79. David

    Can I pick your foodie?
    Without a doubt “big guy” I’d almost rather be called “dude”

  80. sophia

    Another vote for panties. Can NOT say that word. I used to hate the word feet and tried to avoid saying it any any cost. Pussy. Artsy fartsy. Toe jam. Thong. Moist doesn’t bother me (like moist cake—that bothers people?) I guess I’m going to have to stop saying preggers.

  81. jill

    But the worst is when you put them together as in, Festering pus! I’m out…

  82. Jennifer

    “Meal” for some reason that word just leaves a funny taste in my mouth. It is funny that you posted this today because I was talking with this about my friend as well. Isn’t it funny what words drive us crazy. We were also talking about peoples names whom we just could not date. 🙂

  83. Erin

    Webinar (like a seminar, but on the Web … so wrong)
    and, like so many others:

  84. kim

    word allergies:

  85. james

    I thought of another one…
    “that really hit home”

  86. m

    Any word that has the “shous” sound in it: luscious, scrumptious. It’s like nails on a chalkboard.
    (As an aside, your alien baby belly looks great. Keep up the great baby growing work!)

  87. Joy

    paradigm shift
    get a life
    props/mad props

  88. Katherine aka Middle

    *phone (when it’s said with a valley girl accent, sorry, it drives me nuts).
    *when people refer to others as Miss (first name only)… like Miss Katherine… and I am being addressed this way professionally and introduced to people this way… it’s just Katherine… or Miss (my last name)… Not Miss Katherine! Grrr.
    *another vote for pussy
    *if we’re doing phrases… when someone tells someone they need to improve and “take it to a whole other level” I blame American Idol for this. Heh.
    What a fun post!

  89. Leah E

    Wow, all of my pet peeves have been covered by other commenters. (Which impacted me negatively 😉
    But I would like to add the pro-moist vote. Moist! It just makes me think of a nice chocolate cake or brownies. Or moss on a misty Maine morning.

  90. Sundries Sublime

    This is SOOOO funny! I am surprised by the number of people who have said “moist.” I have a friend who doesn’t like that word and I thought it was just her!!!! For me, the only word is “preggers.” Sounds so yuppy. But the most uncool yuppy EVER!!!

  91. meesh

    well after reading jen’s allergy list. i have a new one to add to mine.
    hotdog juice…ewww!
    others for me are:
    mucous plug
    and use of the phrases “at the end of the day” and “my bad” should be discontinued immediately.

  92. jen gray

    meal worm
    miracle whip
    boil ( as in the one on a skin)
    ta ta
    new age

  93. jen gray

    meal worm
    miracle whip
    boil ( as in the one on a skin)
    ta ta
    new age

  94. meesh


  95. stef

    shit stain

  96. Tiff

    I hate it.

  97. carolyn

    Well. I wish I hadn’t waited until today for my first comment.
    As my inaugural comment, I’d like to contribute:
    go with, as in “I’m going to the store. Want to go with?”
    With whom? Finish your sentence!

  98. Laura

    You would not believe how many of these words we have all mentioned here that I have seen EVERYWHERE in the last day. (And yes, I had to go back and read them all again, they are so funny.) It’s like the English language is suddenly made up of ONLY THESE WORDS. 🙂

  99. carolyn

    Well. I wish I hadn’t waited until today to comment.
    As my inaugural comment, I’d like to submit:
    come with, as in “I’m going to the store. Want to come with?”
    With whom? Finish your sentence!

  100. Victoria Winters

    Oops! I use “foodie” all the time. :-/
    I guess I hate “knocked up” and poor English in general.

  101. Rosie

    i’m with you on ‘pick your brains’. Yuck!
    I also have an aversion to ‘populist’ – but no idea why! What are the words you love?
    I like dahlia. And in French ‘cauchemar’ – nightmare but literally ‘bad sleep’, i think. And ‘papillon’ – butterfly.
    I do love words!

  102. Melba

    I use the word blogosphere on the home page of one of my blog sites.
    Blogosphere isn’t even in the dictionary, but I don’t know of another work to describe the blogosphere.
    What word do you like better?
    It would help me so much if I had an alternative!
    Thanks! 🙂

  103. jennifer

    i’m seriously allergic to those two words. ick. but i’m okay with “speculate” and “ovation.” hm.
    oh, and “tastes like ass.” my husband uses that phrase to describe something really vile. it’s too vile to even say!

  104. Happy Little Atom

    – bluesky (as in brainstorm)
    – net net (as in I’m going to throw it over your head and strangle you if you use that with me one more time)
    – the “c” word (and I’m not talking cake)
    – Booyah (it’s only funny when you know who uses it)
    – Woot (too fratty, mr. mcfatty)
    and so many more.. but it’s okay because there are even more that I love, like whimsy and wacky and whirligig…

  105. Chrissy

    crimeny (I’m not even sure how to spell that one!)

  106. Jennifer

    In addition to hating ‘axe’ when someone means ‘ask’, I also hate, supremely hate, when someone says eckspecially when they really mean especially. hate it hate it hate it….

  107. andrea

    superfluous has always made my the roof of my mouth itch
    verbiage – it sounds fake and is unnecessary
    rellies for relatives
    rents for parents
    puter for computer
    my favourite word is twilight

  108. Beth

    I have always disliked the word “panties.” You will NEVER hear me refer to my underwear as my panties. I think it sounds so dainty and fancy, both of which I am not. Also, short-forms for words often used in fashion and gossip magazines, like “cami” and “preggers.”
    I always thought I was being petty…now I realize there are entire communities out there also suffering from word allergies!

  109. Jillian

    This is hilarious!!! here’s my list:
    giblets and genitals (somehow they sound interchangable)
    anytime someone adds an ” ‘s” to a restaurant name- ie: tony’s, ihop’s, tavern on the green’s.
    i second the “do you want to come with?” (makes my skin crawl!)
    glandular (my tongue feels like it on a rollercoaster when i say it!)
    This made my dreary day!

  110. Stacy

    I cannot believe how many people don’t like the word moist. I’ll have to remember that.
    My list:
    artsy fartsy
    kewl – spelled that way – instead of cool
    maybe even cool itself
    on the rag
    good luck with that

  111. Julia

    After reading all the responses I just have to add a few more of my own. The phrase “opening up a can of worms”…YUCK!! Also any nasty, vile words used to describe women or their anatomy in a crude, disrespectful way.
    Some others on my list would be…
    *The “c-word” (rhymes with “stunt” and will get the user slapped without a second thought in my house.)
    * gash
    * snatch
    * “feeding the kitty” and I don’t mean the cat!!
    * terminal, as in an illness
    * P.C. as in political correctness
    * and the phrase, “what a crock of crap.” (or shit) So completely yucky…like who would have a crock of that around??!!
    I thought I was the only one to have such an aversion to certain words or phrases. It’s comforting (and very funny) to know that “word allergies” abound. 🙂

  112. Shari

    Irregardless. I hate it. The word is regardless. It grates on me. I think I might even wince when someone uses it.

  113. jus

    I hate, with a passion, “Phone Tag”. It makes me think of corporate executives carrying around big black bulky phones trying to tag each other with them. Ew. But I almost feel obligated to use it when someone leaves me a message that says, “Looks like we’re playing phone tag, You’re it!” Someone gimme a bucket.

  114. Kage

    lately I am allergic to clearly and apparently, though sometimes I type apparently, I am becoming more and more allergic to it, the more someone speaks it.
    And when I am upset at my husband:
    “keyed up”
    and “jump in the shower” Jumping in a shower will only lead to slippage and possible head trauma.

  115. Juli

    Oh this is SO easy. I work in a LIBRARY, not a libary. I want to choke the people who say LIBARY, especially my co-workers!
    I saw someone else mention diva, I second that. I hate that so much that if you’re a business and you advertise that word in anything you sell, uh, buh-bye.

  116. Erin

    My aunt found this site and immediately sent it to me–Proof that many others have their fair share of word issues.
    My vote for the worst words….
    bush, moist and pus
    And the absolute-hands-down WORST phrase is
    “Keep your eyes peeled”.
    I could throw up just typing it.

  117. Ellabel

    “boobies”, “wifie”, “panties”, “whatever” (as in “I don’t care”), “like” (as in “she like..and then he like..and then I like), this list could be endless.
    I hate the written words that are used in replace of each other – whether and weather, we’re and were, where and wear, etc.
    I also dislike that shortened language a lot of people use now. “C U L8R”. It takes me twice as long to decipher what they’re trying to say than what it would to type it correctly in the first place.
    There are also some words that make my heart melt: synergy, serendipity, tea (how simple a word, a tasty a drink), essential, and this list could go on for equally as long as the “hate” list.

  118. amy

    Oh. my. god. THIS IS THE BEST POST EVER!
    Major voting for “moist” and “panties” and a huge shout out for all of the people who hate the term “MAKING LOVE!” It makes me want to hit someone. Hard. Just say sex…even fuck is less offensive to me.
    My others:
    mature when pronounced “ma-toor”
    heebie jeebies
    “I could care less” ~ oh really? So you do care?
    “I don’t know nothing!”
    When people shorten things with numbers/spell ridiculously: “It wuz gr8 2 c u, gurl”, etc.
    I majored in English/Linguistics, so I’m a sticker for the incorrect usage of “I” and “me”. As in, “Would you like to come to the store with Jimmy and I?” DON’T FEAR THE USE OF ME, PEOPLE!
    I could go on. But I’ll stop. Thank you for this.

  119. Crissi

    I think any word that describes *vagina*. I mean, come on. Guys get a cool word like PENIS. It even has a cool nickname, DICK, among others. I cannot think of one cool nickname for *vagina*. And I feel creepy using the word *vagina*, like I’m some pervert, a sex ed teacher, or something. And because of that, I’ll use “down there”, which makes me sound like I’m ashamed of “down there” because I hate calling it anything. Vagina. Couldn’t we call it BETTY, or something more feminine and not nearly as demeaning as CUNT, PUSSY, SNATCH, MUFF, and all the other bad names that *someone who was NOT a woman* came up with?

  120. wendy cook

    what a riot, andrea. you are brilliant!
    i have to say that i agree with so many of the comments…”panties” bug me for some reason. the first comment gave me a giggle…it reads like a chapter from the “V” monologues. i also dislike being called dude…because i’m not a dude…and it annoys me when people say words that aren’t really words like “irregardless”.
    i was thinking, we need a superhero convention in which everyone that owns one of your necklaces converges in a big open field for a photograph. i suspect it will need to be an aerial shot!
    also at wendycook.com

  121. jin

    Oh this is so hilarious!I’m loving reading these.
    ‘I’m all set/I’m set/Are you all set?’….
    STILL can’t get used to this, that all-encompassing definition for ‘are you finished with what you were doing/eating/ready to pay/about to go…’ and much more!
    And along with ‘like’ inserted every few words, there’s also ‘YOU KNOW WHAT..’ interspersed into every sentence that I just can’t get over.
    Also ‘get over it!’

  122. Sabine

    Last year I actually made a list of words that I absolutely abhor. It’s quite long- but here’s a little bit of it.
    “box of crayons”
    pocketbook (especially when pronounced “pokabook”)
    anything harsh with a p or c

  123. Sabine


  124. Lesley

    For those who hate the word “CUNT” read “Cunt a declaration of independence” by Inga Muscio…Amazing. Forever changed the way I hear that word.
    My list:
    Vagina (means “sheath for a sword”)
    Chick (referring to a woman)
    Spotted dick (what’s that?)
    yoni (pronounced Yoh-nee) – new name for vagina

  125. Chirp

    Hmmm lets see….
    turd…that was really difficult to type. Ewwww!

  126. Jodi

    Wow, my three least favorite words still haven’t made it up here yet!
    Nougat! Now tell how this word could possibly sound like a yummy candy filling?!! It sounds like a complete insult. As in “you dirty rotton nougat!”
    And what about Slacks?! Like how my Grandma used to use the word….”are you going to wear that nice pair of slacks today?” Just hearing the word makes me break out into a sweat! I’m picturing red polyester pants with an elastic waist!
    And last but not least – Blazer! I’m ok with this word when used to describe an SUV but not a men’s dress jacket! “Are you going to wear your Blazzzzzzzer to the job interview?” Not!! This word makes me feel sweaty also!
    Thanks for sharing! There are lots of other words above that I agree are equally yucky!

  127. Julia

    I just had a funny encounter with a really cute guy, who suddenly became very unattractive, when in conversation he said, “Then, I RETCHED in my pocket…” I was thinking, “Don’t you mean that you REACHED into your pocket?” Where I come from, the word “retched” means to barf. I kept having visions of him vomiting into his pocket on the expensive suit jacket he was wearing. EEWWWW!!! In addition to him sounding ignorant, it really grossed me out. But looking back, it’s a very funny visual now. 🙂

  128. Petunia

    The phrase, “shits and giggles,” is the worst thing I’ve ever heard.
    Though I love soup and can order it or talk about cooking it, I am often repulsed when someone says they want soup in a fond way, like, “mmmm soup.”
    Yes, all the female anatomy words, esp. tits.
    “Good times, good times.”
    Peeps, prezzie (for present, whatev.
    And I can’t stand it when people use “hysterical” when they mean “hilarious; a joke is not hysterical though the person laughing at it might be.

  129. Lisa

    bowel movement…even worse is BM!

  130. Axxsis

    Great post. Ver helpfull.
    I have alot of good information like this on my site.
    Check it out when you get a chance!

  131. Elise

    “Little man” in reference to a baby boy and “baby” in reference to an adult man. Yuck.

  132. Alexandr

    My word allergy is the phrase “white trash.” I was tempted to end a friendship once when a friend referred to someone with those words as we walked by them. It shows such a disgusting disregard for our fellow human beings.

  133. sophia

    Slacks!!! That made me laugh.
    Making love–Ouch.
    Fart. I thought everyone hated that word. I hate that word so much, I’m surprised it’s not in the top 3.
    Bro or sis.
    Poo-poo. Say crap or poop or shit or anything else.

  134. stef

    OH!!! I hate the word CROTCH!!!
    My grandma used to say it all the time when sewing pants – “let’s measure your inseam from your CROTCH to your ankle”
    I still hate that word!!

  135. Andrea

    Oh, this is soooo much fun!
    nuculear (don’t know exactly how to spell the mispronounciation of nuclear, but you’d think if you were the President of the United States, the leader of the free world for cripes sake, that you’d know how to pronounce the damn thing. Bush can’t and Clinton couldn’t either. So, unfortunately, I can’t blame it on the ignorance of the one I don’t like!)
    irregardless (it’s not a freaking word, OK?! It’s regardless or irrespective!)
    data (when pronounced with a short a)
    mature (even though there’s no “ch” to be found, let’s not pronounce it with a “t”! Come on, people!)
    cousint (there’s no “t” in cousin, and the logic applied to mature, doesn’t apply here.)
    Valentime (see cousint)
    puberty (when pronounced without the “Y” sound…just say pyooberty, and we’ll all be happy.)
    Greasy, when referring to hair and/or when pronounced “greazy”.
    Spot on
    And I hate when people talk about shaving in public. Hearing the word shaving or shaved just makes me want to curl up in a ball and roll away. Shaving is too personal for public discussion!
    And I despise when Rachel Ray says EVOO instead of extra virgin olive oil.
    Thanks for the laugh, Andrea, and the relief of finally getting this off of my chest (another phase that is weird!)

  136. amy

    another one…
    hate it.

  137. kaete

    so, i just stumbled here and felt compelled to share:
    i’m adding another vote for ‘moist’ and ‘panties.’
    discharge (in any context)
    lance (as a verb, especially, but in any context)
    there are more, i’m sure. i tend to be very passionate about the english language. but those are the ones that come to mind.

  138. robin

    When people use the word “vagina” when they really mean “vulva.”

  139. liz elayne

    reading all these has just made my day. i agree with so many of them!
    i hate the word pianist.
    why isn’t a pianoist? why does it have to sound like a slang term for something? i actually wrote a poem about this word without using it…because of course, i could not.
    another vote for moist. and crotch.
    oh and anal glands. yes. you don’t know what those are until the vet tells you she has to “express” your goldens anal glands. oh goodness.
    hugs to you andrea! still lovin’ that gorgeous picture of your belly and the light inside it.

  140. surcie

    I can’t stand hearing women refer to their periods as “Aunt Flo.”
    Flo is my mother-in-law’s name.

  141. Josh

    Expression I hate: “Let’s touch base”

  142. Sally

    I can’t stand “pedagogy.” I’ve been studying it for years and I STILL can’t pronounce it!

  143. Anna Kuperberg

    At the airport: Terminal Destination.
    It sounds so morbid.

  144. Kate

    Proactive. I…hate…that…word. Hate it. Roll my eyes at it. I’ve been temping all summer and when the agency representative calls to offer me a position, she always tells me to be “proactive.” I hate temping!

  145. sarah

    good eats, or worse, good eatz.

  146. Ryan Zyskowski

    I love this entry! I couldn’t agree more with the things that I’m hearing here like “nucular”, “libary”, “summer” as a verb, and verb, or noun form of “FART”. Ugh. I can also come up with at least a thousand with no effort as all since I am CONSTANTLY dwelling on the slow demise of the English language and American society, but off the top of my head here are the first things that come to mind right this second:
    *Any cute word coined by Sex and the City; such as “frenemies” (friends who secretly sabotage) or “shopaholic”. Ick!
    *Any cute word coined by Cosmopolitan magazine; such as “CELEB-REALITY” “CELEBUTANTE” (*cringe*) or “TANOREXIC” (which you would assume meant someone who didn’t tan since anorexia is to deprive, but actually means someone who overindulges and is too tan) OH, and especially STUPID pop-culture references to celebrity couples, like “BRANGELINA” (I HATE IT I HATE IT I HATE IT!!!) “TOM-CAT” and you know that you’re grasping when you try to start people saying: “VAUGHN-ISTON”. Does anything sound more desperately queer than trying to get people to actually SAY Vaughn-iston??
    *Speaking of Celebutantes, I’m sick of people saying “THAT’S HOT”. Paris Hilton is not a role model, and trying to take somone’s lame wannabe-catchphrase is not hot. Same thing with over-used annoying phrases like “TOO MUCH INFORMATION” (people actually SAY that still) or “YEAH… NOOOOOOOOO..” or “OKAY, BUH-BYE” or the newly popular “MMMMMMM-BYE”. Gross!!!
    *Stupid words that somehow get validated by being added to Websters after only a few years of circulation, such as BLING BLING, which has such little staying power it is now already obsolete, having been replaced by just BLING.
    *Designer dog breed names (which are all immoral because playing God with other species is immoral) such as COCKAPOO, LABRADOODLE, SCHNOODLE, PUGGLE, YORKIPOO, PAPERANIAN; these names are more screwed-up than the people who find them entertaining.
    *My Most-hated expression of all time (behind THAT’S HOT); “that person walks around like his/her shit don’t stink”. Vulgar and grammatically incorrect, eeww!
    *”HIT ME UP” on Instant message. Or any random configuration of letters from Instant message that people actually SPEAK in their simplicifed acronym form: “WTF???” or “BRB!!! Awful!!
    *Lastly, I’ve been a hairstylist for ten years: it is COWLICK, people, not CARLICK, NOT COLLICK. Cowlick!!! This one makes me crazy!
    Thanks for the great post, this was fun!!!

  147. Swirly


  148. Boho


  149. Paige

    “I have a lot on my plate.” I cannot express the utter distaste I have for this phrase.

  150. Lisa

    there are so many posts by now that most of mine have been covered. i also HATE the word panties! who came up with this, when so many women hate it?! but my ultimate most hated word of all time (i can’t believe i’m actually typing this) is BONER. that is the sickest word i’ve ever heard.
    i also hate “want to come with?” this is such a stupid phrase.
    i also hate when rachel ray says EVOO instead of extra virgin olive oil (good thinking whoever else said this!)
    i hate when people misuse the word “literally” (“My mouth was literally on fire!!!”) uggggh.
    – pad
    – tonsil
    – hella (ie. hella cool)
    – sick (when used in a positive way, ie. “That sports car was so sick!”)
    there are so many more. perhaps i shall make my own complete list …

  151. tommie

    “Trying to find myself.”

  152. Chrissa

    Also: “lay” when you mean “lie.” Is that snobby?

  153. Mary

    Ah, fun list! I loved reading the comments.
    I’m going with “hubby” and “preggers” as my current cringe-inducing words. Mainly because I have a close friend who’s pregnant and she uses both words. Repeatedly.
    Oh, and it annoys me when people refer to Banana Republic as just “Banana.” Ugh.

  154. Becky

    Please forgive me for this one, but the word I loathe more than any other is “cunt.” I think it is the crudest, most offensive word one can call a woman. I go ballistic whenever I hear it. Poor grammer bothers me in general but that particular word will have me in your face almost immediately. Thanks for letting me share.

  155. Nina

    “Think outside of the box” is so over used it is now an inside the box sort of comment.
    Also even though I have very dear friends who say this….it secretly drives me crazy. “He, she, it, they disrespected (that’s the word–to the left) me”
    “gold standard”
    I like to say stupid head.

  156. Lisa

    also “comfort zone”

  157. Ashley

    I absolutely despise the word AWESOME! It sounds like nails on a chalkboard. People that use it, USE IT ALL THE TIME!

  158. Plain Jane

    I love this site! I have many “word & phrase allergies” – but the worst by far for me is the term “Happy Meal”. Why would a meal consisting of a gazillion calories and fat grams leave anyone happy?
    It should be called an ” Eat it now and regret it later meal” – for accuracy sake! I have a three year old son, marketing terms and strategies have never driven me crazy like they do now – when they are aimed at innocent minds who are unable to discern truth from fiction. ( I would have used the expression sh– from shineola – but I know it is sure to offend many of your most loyal participants!)
    Jane (Yes, I am aware that is an irritating non-word!)

  159. Scott C

    Wow, I had to post a comment. Uh oh, “post a comment…” maybe…
    I laughed really hard when I read these words from other posts because I think that they’re normal words and these people are a little picky:
    and my favorite Miracle Whip
    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people expressing their minds, but I had to point these out because I thought they were funny.
    Okay, so I have to at least mention one word that makes me laugh. Slacks. I will never be able to hear someone say that word without cracking up… “cracking up”… hmmm.

  160. tayurhk ojzfcbt

    fnws zrvtkmxg ztximd wliuyvmn ftxjnz toersjvl lebr

  161. Trasi

    This may be high-tech specific, but I CANNOT STAND when work people say “wrapped around the axle”. As in, “let’s don’t get all wrapped around the axle on this point. Let’s move on.” BLEAH!
    And I FULLY second the comments on Rachel Ray’s EVOO.
    Bun in the oven. That is another annoying one.
    And I do NOT like baby words like “pee-pee” and “tinkle” and “poo-poo” and “wee-wee” and all that garbage. Although we don’t go into “vulva” and “vagina” and what-not at this point, we say “folds” which started when I was cleaning the foul diaper and backside of my daughter. She had all these skin folds and you have to get them clean. So her girl parts are called “folds”. And her bottom is… well… her bottom. And when she goes to the bathroom, she “urinates”.
    But the most hilarious is my cousin. She taught her girls to call their vulva a “volvo”. Imagine their hysterics the first time they ran across the car. My cousin reported their comment as being, “WHY WOULD THEY NAME A CAR AFTER THAT?!”

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